Seven police commandos were killed and two others injured on Sunday after Naxals blew up their vehicle by triggering a land mine in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. This is the first attack on security personnel since October last year.
The incident took place around 9.40 am when the policemen were moving for an operational task in the forest between Pavimuranda and Murmuri villages in Chamorshi taluka. The jawans belonged to the C-60 team, a specialised force in anti-Naxal operations.
The slain personnel include Sunil Madavi, Roshan Dambhare, Duryodhan Naktode, Tirupati Allam, Subhash Kumre, Deepak Dighare and Lakshman Munde. Pankaj Sidam and Hemant Bansod were injured and were airlifted to Nagpur for treatment. The district police have sent additional security forces to the spot.
A senior police officer said there was exchange of fire between the policemen and the Naxals after the land mine blast.
The Gadchiroli Police claimed that the blast was an act of retaliation by the Naxals after security forces arrested their sympathiser K N Saibaba, a professor with Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University two days ago. “The Naxals had threatened to avenge Saibaba’s arrest,” the officer said.
Leader of Opposition in the State Legislative Council Vinod Tawde alleged that the Home Department was negligent regarding the security of policemen. “The standard process of operation was not followed. The Home Department did not take seriously the Naxals’ threats of retaliation,” he charged.