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15 policemen, driver killed in Naxal attack in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli

Source: PTI
Last updated on: May 01, 2019 16:47 IST
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Maharashtra Director General of Police Subodh Kumar Jaiswal said that the attack was not a result of intelligence failure.

IMAGE: Mangled remains of a police vehicle, carrying 16 security personnel that was allegedly blasted by Maoists using IED, in Gadchiroli. Photograph: PTI Photo

At least 16 persons, including 15 security personnel, were killed in an improvised explosive device blast triggered by Naxals in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district on Wednesday, police said.

The blast followed Naxals torching 25 vehicles belonging to a road construction contractor earlier in the day, police said.

 

Those killed were members of the Quick Response Team of Gadchiroli police, which was on way to inspect the torched vehicles, an official said.

The blast took place as the vehicle reached Lendhari nallah in Kurkheda area, the official said.

IMAGE: The blast left a huge crater on the road. Photograph: ANI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the Naxal attack on security personnel in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli, saying perpetrators of such violence will not be spared.

"Strongly condemn the despicable attack on our security personnel in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. I salute all the brave personnel. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten," he tweeted.

"My thoughts & solidarity are with the bereaved families. The perpetrators of such violence will not be spared," Modi said in another tweet.

IMAGE: Earlier, Naxals torched around 25 vehicles of a road construction company at Dadapur in Gadchiroli. Photograph: ANI

Maharashtra Director General of Police Subodh Kumar Jaiswal said that the attack was not a result of intelligence failure.

Terming it a "big loss" for the force, Jaiswal said that police "were ready to give a befitting reply to the Naxals".

"I cannot call this an intelligence failure... The Maharashtra police will take whatever action needed against such activities. It is a big loss for Maharashtra police," Jaiswal said.

The Naxals want to overthrow the state, he said.

IMAGE: Naxals torched the vehicles, which were parked along the road, using kerosene and diese. Photograph: ANI

Condemning the attack, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said that the Naxal menace will be fought with stronger efforts.

"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 am in touch with the DGP and the Gadchiroli SP," he said in a statement.

"I strongly condemn this attack and we will fight this menace with even stronger efforts," the chief minister added.

IMAGE: A banner put on display by Maoists who allegedly torched 25 vehicles, at Kukheda town in Gadchiroli. Photograph: PTI Photo

Fadnavis said he had spoken to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and briefed him about the situation.

"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," Singh said in a statement.

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