15 jawans killed as Maoists trigger IED in Gadchiroli

Mangled remains of a vehicle are seen after a Naxal attack in Korchi Road in North Gadchiroli, Maharashtra on Wednesday.

Mangled remains of a vehicle are seen after a Naxal attack in Korchi Road in North Gadchiroli, Maharashtra on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The blast followed Maoists torching 25 vehicles of a road construction firm in Kurkheda sub-district of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra earlier in the day

In one of the worst retaliatory attacks on the anti-naxal security forces, Maoist insurgents blew up an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) killing 15 jawans and a civilian in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district on Wednesday afternoon.

A unit of the Quick Response Team (QRT) of the Gadchiroli police was on its way to provide reinforcements to the police station in Kurkheda taluka, nearly 60 km north of Gadchiroli, when the blast was triggered near Lendali Nullah, in Jamburkheda village, six kilometres from the police station.

Maharashtra police said security had been beefed up in the taluka following an attack the previous night in which naxals had torched 36 vehicles meant to assist road construction work in the Dadpur village.

The latest ambush on police seems to be in retaliation for the killing of two senior women cadre of the rebels, Manku Norate and Manu Dasru, by the anti-naxal forces during an encounter in the forests of Etapalli taluka, South Gadchiroli, on April 27.

The North/South Gadchiroli Division Committee CPI (Maoist) had put up posters condemning the killing, while observing the week as the first anniversary of the killing of nearly 40 ‘comrades’ in an encounter by security forces last year.

The insurgents have been targeting the ongoing Lok Sabha elections and had triggered as many as four IED blasts leading up to the polls on April 11, injuring six commandos of the Gadchiroli police.

A twin blast outside booth 115 of Gatta village, South Gadchiroli on April 10 had raised the concerns of the security forces after the first-time successful use of a Remote Controlled Improvised Device (RCID) in the red zone, a police source said.

“This was a dastardly attack and we will avenge the martyrdom of our jawans at an appropriate time of our choosing. At this point, it is not correct to speculate if this was a retaliation to last year’s attack or the killing of the two women cadre (naxals),” said Maharashtra Director General of Police (DGP) Subodh Kumar Jaiswal.

Six of the slain jawans were from Gadchiroli, three from Bhandara, two from Buldhana, and one each from Nagpur, Yavatmal, Hingoli, and Beed.

A letter from the Editor

Dear reader,

We have been keeping you up-to-date with information on the developments in India and the world that have a bearing on our health and wellbeing, our lives and livelihoods, during these difficult times. To enable wide dissemination of news that is in public interest, we have increased the number of articles that can be read free, and extended free trial periods. However, we have a request for those who can afford to subscribe: please do. As we fight disinformation and misinformation, and keep apace with the happenings, we need to commit greater resources to news gathering operations. We promise to deliver quality journalism that stays away from vested interest and political propaganda.

Support Quality Journalism

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information comes in.

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | May 22, 2020 4:18:28 PM |

Next Story