Maharashtra DGP Subodh Jaiswal on Wednesday promised to give a fitting reply to those behind the IED blast in Gadchiroli that left 16 people, including 15 security personnel, dead. The DGP said it would be unfair to say that the incident was a result of an intelligence failure.
“We have the wherewithal to give a befitting reply to the attackers… I do not think it would be fair to use the term intelligence failure. The Maharashtra police takes all precautions and this is indeed a sad incident…,” Jaiswal said at a press conference in Mumbai.
The DGP said that during the Lok Sabha elections — the four-phased polls in the state concluded on April 29 — the police had received intelligence that there could be a possible Maoist attack. He said, proper police presence was ensured in the region and the elections were held smoothly.
Claiming that the landmine blast was part of the long-term goal of Maoists to overthrow the state as established by the Indian Constitution, Jaiswal said it was, however, too early to conclude if the attack was in any way linked to the Lok Sabha elections or was a response to police action against Maoists in the past year.
Nearly 40 people linked to left-wing terrorism were killed by security forces last year.
Jaiswal said the 15 security personnel, from the Gadchiroli police Quick Response Team (QRT), were on their way to reinforce Purada police station in Gadchiroli in a private vehicle when the landmine exploded, leading to the death of all occupants.
The blast came hours after some 27 vehicles, belonging to contractors working on the National Highway 136, were allegedly torched by the extremists.
Jaiswal added, “It is our firm belief that such elements need to be dealt with full power of the state… and in this regard I have had a discussion with the chief minister and the home minister as well. We will revisit the entire incident and see the lessons we can learn.”