Other States

Gadchiroli attack: DSP suspended for violating SOP

Deadly attack: Mangled remains of a police vehicle targetted by Maoists in Gadchiroli in May

Deadly attack: Mangled remains of a police vehicle targetted by Maoists in Gadchiroli in May  

15 policemen died when Naxals triggered a blast on May 1

Nearly one-and-a-half months after a Naxal attack in which 15 personnel of the Gadchiroli police were killed, the government on Friday announced the suspension of a senior police officer for not following the Standard Operating Procedure (SoP).

Minister of State (Home) Deepak Kesarkar said in the Maharashtra Council that Deputy Superintendent of Police, Shailesh Kale, was being suspended for sending the Quick Response Team (QRT) on patrol without following the SOP in place for conflict zones. A preliminary probe of the Home Department had found lapses in adherence to the SOP.

The Minister was responding to a calling attention motion raised by Prakash Gajbhiye (Congress) and Leader of Opposition Dhananjay Munde, who pointed out that the death of 15 policemen was a direct result of negligence by senior police officials, who had instructed the unit to, at one point, proceed in open jeeps.

 

“Even the district officials were involved in making the wrong decisions. The family of the martyrs lost everything but no accountability is fixed,” Mr. Gajbhiye said. He informed the House of his meeting with the families of those killed and said some of them are in dire straits.

Mr. Gajbhiye said the families have yet to get any help from the government. Even the promised ₹25 lakh as insurance cover has not reached them. The Hindu had reported on May 15 that the insurance policy for the conflict zone had lapsed earlier this year owing to red tapism and delays by the Director General of Police’s office in Mumbai. “The State must now give each family member a government job. The government must take immediate steps for this,” he said.

Mr. Kesarkar said the government would announce jobs for family members in less than seven days. This will be done with all documentation in place, he said. “We will ensure that ₹25 lakh is also paid on time,” he assured the House.

In one of the worst retaliatory attacks on the anti-naxal security forces, Maoist insurgents had blown up an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) killing men of the QRT. The unit was proceeding from the police station in Kurkheda taluka, nearly 60 km north of Gadchiroli, when the blast was triggered after Naxals had torched 36 vehicles on May 1.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 10:35:03 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gadchiroli-attack-dsp-suspended-for-violating-sop/article28104246.ece

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