In a shocking incident, fifteen security personnel and a driver have been martyred in an IED blast carried out by Maoists attack in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli on Wednesday. Speaking to Republic, Gadchiroli IG Sharad Shelar briefed on how the blast was carried out by the Maoists and what are the steps taken by the police officials in the aftermath of the attack.
"Our QRT team was moving to Village Purada after receiving some inputs of anti-national activities in the area. They reached Jamburkheda village at about 12:30, when there was all of a sudden a landmine blast. In this sad, our 15 men and one driver are reported to be martyred," said Gadchiroli IG confirming that total of 16 men have been killed in the attack.
He went onto assert that the Maoists carried out the blast because of desperation and panic after the polling percentage increased in the region in 2019 polls, even as they (Maoists) called for a ban on the elections in the region. IG Sharad Shelar also spoke about how the Maharashtra Police successfully carried out one of the biggest operations against the Maoists in April 2008.
"After this incident, our team is working according to the standard procedure. In the last 2 years, police have been very successful in dealing with this problem. In April 208, we carried out the biggest ever operation against the anti-national activities. In that operation, 40 Maoists were neutralised in one go. In this Parliamentary elections, all of them vowed to ban the elections. But this year, the polling percentage has increased. They got scared of this and they became desperate to attack the police."
On being questioned about the intelligence that the police received ahead of the attack and the actions that the police is taking in the aftermath of the attack, Gadchiroli IG Sharad Shelar said that the police has been successfully neutralising the Maoists in the area as per standard procedure after receiving inputs from strong intelligence machinery.
"Our intelligence machinery is very strong. Whatever inputs we have received about the Maoists, we have successfully carried out the operations. We have carried out so many operations against them, which is a very big setback for them. They are present in that area (Ghadchiroli), they do come, they do come small activities. But they have never done something like this. Whenever they carry out such operations, they call people from other areas like Baster and others who help them. Our police machinery are in action and we are following standard procedure," Sharad Shelar added.
On Wednesday afternoon, Maoists triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) in order to blow up the police vehicle on the Kurkheda-Korchi road in Gadchiroli. 15 police personnel of the C60 Commando and their driver have been killed in the attack.
Prime Minister Modi condemned the attack, saluting the brave forces and affirmed that their sacrifices will not be forgotten.