15 security personnel killed in Maoist attack in Gadchiroli district

Published : May 01, 2019 19:47 IST

At least 16 persons have been killed in an attack by suspected Maoists in Maharashatra’s Gadchiroli district located in the north eastern region of the State. According to official reports, the Maoists torched 25 vehicles of a road construction firm in the Kurkheda subdistrict of Gadchiroli in the early hours of May 1. When the Quick Response Team (QRT) of the local police arrived at the place, the Maoists set off an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) killing 15 of the QRT personnel and one civilian.

This is the third attack by Maoists in the region since the election process began. While the others were a show of violence on voting dates, the May 1 incident was different. Maharashtra Director General of Police Subodh Kumar Jaiswal told the media this was not a result of an intelligence failure. He believed that there was a larger plan and that they were aware of the situation in the naxal belt.

Politicians across parties were quick to react to the incident. Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the Naxal attack and said the perpetrators of such violence would not be spared. Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted that he was deeply pained by the attack and expressed his condolences to the families of the victims. Nationalist Congress Party president Sharad Pawar, while expressing his sympathies, called for the resignation of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. He criticised the State government for not paying enough attention to the naxalite issue.

Sources who are familiar with the naxal belt said the local people had been told by the Maoists that they would face their wrath if they participated in the election process. Apparently, the militants have put up banners saying elections will not solve their problems.

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