At least 15 security personnel and a civilian were killed in an IED explosion triggered by Maoists in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra on Wednesday. The incident took place in the afternoon when a quick response team (QRT) of the state police was going towards a spot where Maoists had set on fire around 30 vehicles.
The police personnel belonged to the C60 commando squad and were travelling in a private vehicle, Maharashtra DGP Subodh Jaiswal said at a press conference, hours after the attack. He also said that the incident cannot be attributed to intelligence failure as the state police was already on high alert in the wake of Lok Sabha elections.
Incidentally, the Kurkheda area had long been free from Maoist violence for a long time. Initial photographs from the site showed remains of a vehicle after the explosion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condemned the attack and said that perpetrators will not be spared. Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also expressed grief over the incident and said that he was in touch with the DGP and Gadchiroli SP.
Gadchiroli Maoist attack LIVE Updates: At least 15 security personnel killed in IED explosion. Read in Malayalam, Bangla
Will learn lessons from Naxal attack in Gadchiroli: Hansraj Ahir
Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir said the government will learn lessons and ensure that incidents like Wednesday's blast carried out by Naxals in which 15 policemen were killed in Gadchiroli do not recur. Ahir is MP from Chandrapur which borders on Gadchiroli in eastern Maharashtra.
"We have yet to get complete information about the incident. As per preliminary reports, QRT (Quick Response Team of state police) was going a place where torching of vehicles (by Naxals) had taken place," he said. "We will definitely give a befitting reply, but will (also) take lessons from this incident and take care that such incidents do not happen again," said the Union minister.
"Gadchiroli police had been very successfull in the fight against Naxals. We see this incident as a challenge. How and what happened will come out after investigation," the BJP leader said.
The Central government has always been willing to provide weapons and other necessary equipment to police, he said.
Naxal attack: Names of slain police personnel released
The names of police jawans killed in the Gadchiroli Naxal attack were released today:
Sahudas Bajirao Madav, Pramod Mahadevrao Bhoyar, Raju Narayan Gaikwad, Kishor Yeshwant Bobate, Santosh Devidas chavhan, Sarjerao Eknath Kharde, Dayanand Tamradhwaj Shahare, Bhupesh Pandurangji Walode, Arif Taushib Shaikh, Yogaji Sitaram Halami, Puranshah Pratapshah Duga, Laxman Keshav Kodape, Amrut Prabhudas Bhadade, Agraman Bakshi Rahate, Nitin Tilakchand Ghormare
Naxal attack a threat to democracy: Shiv Sena
Expressing anguish over the Gadchiroli Naxal attack in Maharashtra in which 15 police personnel and a civilian were killed, the Shiv Sena Wednesday said the incident seems to be a "threat" to democracy, reports PTI.
Condemning the incident, Sena spokesperson Neelam Gorhe recalled that maximum voter turnout was recorded in the Gadchiroli-Chimur constituency in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections in Maharashtra.
"The attack looks like a threat to democracy. It is sad to see such dastardly attack taking place on Foundation Day of Maharashtra state," she said.
Sena chief whip in Parliament Sanjay Raut said attacks had been taking place in (Gadchiroli) in the last few days as well, "but I think the state and Union governments will jointly take action against naxals".
The Shiv Sena is an alliance partner in the BJP-led governments at the Centre and Maharashtra.
Amit Shah condemns Naxal attack in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli
BJP president Amit Shah condemned Wednesday's Naxal attack on police personnel in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli and described it as an act of cowardice and desperation, reports PTI.
"Naxalites attacked Maharashtra Police personnel in Gadchiroli. I have come to know that 16 people, including 15 security personnel, were killed in an IED blast triggered by Naxals. This is an act of cowardice and desperation. "I pay my respect to those killed in the attack and wish quick recovery of the injured people. Our government will extend all help," Shah said while addressing election rallies at Panchla and Arambagh.
Those killed in the attack were members of the Quick Response Team (QRT) of Gadchiroli police, which was on its way to inspect a fleet of torched vehicles belonging to a road construction contractor, police said.
Attack comes days after BJP MLA was killed by Naxals in Chhattisgarh
The Gadchiroli Naxal attack comes just days after BJP’s Dantewada MLA Bhima Mandavi was killed in a Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh. Minutes before campaigning ended in Bastar for the Lok Sabha polls on April 11, Maoists had targeted a convoy in Chhattisgarh on April 9, killing Mandavi and four others travelling with him.
Maoists attacked the convoy around near Nakulnar, around 25 km from Dantewada, and triggered a powerful IED that destroyed the bullet-proof car Mandavi was travelling in, killing him along with his driver and three security personnel. Security men in two other vehicles following him then exchanged fire with Maoists.
Mandavi was elected Dantewada MLA in December and was the only BJP MLA in the Bastar division, where the Congress won 11 of 12 seats. The others killed in the attack were the driver Danteshwar Mourya, constables Chagan Kuldeep, Ramlal Uyami and Somdu Kawasi.
Naxal attack: Sharad Pawar says Maharashtra CM should resign
NCP chief Sharad Pawar Wednesday demanded Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis' resignation following the IED blast carried out by Naxals in Gadchiroli in which 15 policemen and a civilian died, reports PTI. Fadnavis holds the home portfolio and "he should step down immediately", Pawar tweeted.
"Those who feel shame of conscience if not shame of public opinion would have resigned. But the people who are in power today are not going to do so," Pawar added. Saying that Naxals activities in the state were growing, Pawar said it was the result of "rulers neglecting law and order situation in the Naxal-affected areas". "Hence there is no option but to condemn the attack and express grief over the jawans' deaths," the NCP supremo said.
State NCP chief and former Maharashtra home minister Jayant Patil said the Naxals deliberately struck on the state's foundation day as they wanted to "demoralise". "We will not allow this attempt to demoralise the state by deliberately carrying out the attack on Maharashtra Day to succeed," he tweeted.
At least 16 persons including 15 police personnel were killed in the blast of an Improvised Explosive Device triggered by Naxals in Gadchiroli district in eastern Maharashtra Wednesday. Before the blast, Naxals had torched 25 vehicles belonging to a road construction contractor.
Despite tall talk, Modi govt learnt no lessons from Pulwama: Congress
The Congress on Wednesday attacked the BJP-led government over the Naxal attack in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli, saying that despite its "tall talk" no lessons from Pulwama have been learnt, reports PTI. Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said the country needs preventive action, accountability for this failure and not 'jumlas' (rhetoric) and lectures.
At least 16 people, including 15 security personnel, were killed in an IED blast triggered by Naxals in Gadchiroli district Wednesday, police said. The blast followed Naxals torching 25 vehicles belonging to a road construction contractor earlier in the day.
"We condemn the brutal terror attack on our jawans in Maharashtra. India stands firmly behind their families, well wishers & friends in this hour of grief," Patel tweeted. "Once again terrorists have targeted the convoys of our jawans. Clearly despite their tall talk no lessons from Pulwama have been learnt. It is a wake-up call for state and central governments," he said, referring to the terror strike in Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir in February in which 40 CRPF jawans were killed by a Jaish-e-Mohammed suicide attacker.
Maharashtra governor cancels reception, cultural event at Raj Bhawan
The governor of Maharashtra Ch. Vidyasagar Rao cancelled the reception and cultural programme organised at Raj Bhawan, Mumbai this evening. "The reception was cancelled as a mark of respect to the police personnel who lost their lives in the Naxal attack in Gadchiroli district," CMO Maharashtra mentioned in a tweet.
Prepared to give a befitting reply: Maharashtra DGP
While interacting with media in the afternoon Wednesday, Maharashtra DGP Subodh Jaiswal said the police force is ready to give a befitting reply to the attack. "Operations are going on in the area to ensure that no further casualties take place," he said.
Subodh Jaiswal, DGP Maharashtra: We are prepared to give a befitting reply to this attack (Gadchiroli Naxal attack); Operations are going on in the area to ensure that no further casualties take place. pic.twitter.com/wZeKfEzAh2— ANI (@ANI) May 1, 2019
Can't call this intelligence failure: Maharashtra DGP
Maharashtra DGP Subodh Jaiswal, while addressing a press conference today, said the attack is not an intelligence failure as the whole police force was on alert especially in the wake of elections. He said that he will himself visit the spot where the IED blast took place and will be able to give a detailed report by evening.
Maharashtra DGP addressing media on Naxal attack
Subodh Kumar Jaiswal, DGP, Maharashtra is currently addressing media on the Naxal attack in Gadchiroli. The DGP said state police will take whatever action is required. "Operations will continue with full force," he said.
Rajnath Singh assures Maharashtra all assistance
Hours after the Naxal attack in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli, Home Minister Rajnath Singh Wednesday assured all help to the state government, reports PTI. He termed the attack an act of cowardice and desperation. The home minister also spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, who briefed him about the incident.
"Attack on Maharashtra Police personnel in Gadchiroli is an act of cowardice and desperation. We are providing all assistance needed by the state government. The Home Ministry is in constant touch with the state administration," he said in a statement.
The home minister said the country was extremely proud of the valour of police personnel and their supreme sacrifice while serving the nation will not go in vain. "I have spoken to the Maharashtra chief minister regarding the tragic incident in Gadchiroli and expressed my grief at the loss of brave police personnel," he said. At least 16 people, including 15 security personnel, were killed in an IED blast triggered by Naxals in Gadchiroli district.
Those killed were members of the Quick Response Team (QRT) of Gadchiroli police, which was on way to inspect a fleet of torched vehicles belonging to a road construction contractor, police said.
Fadnavis says anguished by death of security personnel in Gadchiroli
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also expressed grief over the death of police personnel in Gadchiroli. Around 15 security personnel were killed in an IED blast by Maoists in the area. "Anguished to know that our 16 police personnel from Gadchiroli C-60 force got martyred in a cowardly attack by Naxals today. My thoughts and prayers are with the martyrs’ families. I’m in touch with DGP and Gadchiroli SP," he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
PM condemns attack on security personnel in Gadchiroli
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday condemned the "despicable attack" on security personnel in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra that took place in the noon today.
PM Modi: Strongly condemn despicable attack on our security personnel in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. Salute all brave personnel.Their sacrifices will never be forgotten. My thoughts & solidarity are with bereaved families. Perpetrators of such violence will not be spared (file pic) pic.twitter.com/mbkyG7XZLA— ANI (@ANI) May 1, 2019