7 Police commandos killed in a Naxalite Attack in Maharashtra

Gadchiroli (Maharashtra): Seven police commandos were killed Sunday when Maoists set off a landmine in the thick forests of Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra, officials said.

The incident occurred around 9.30 a.m. near Murmuri village, around 35 km from this town.

At least two more commandos were injured in the deadly attack.

The Maoists set off the blast when a police commando team was moving in a vehicle for security operations in the forested region.

The injured were airlifted to Nagpur while additional security forces rushed to the site of the attack.

Vinod Tawde, leader of opposition in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, hit out at the intelligence agencies for failing to anticipate the attack in the wake of the arrest of a Maoist think-tank intellectual from New Delhi two days ago.

“In a major breakthrough, Gadchiroli police nabbed a think-tank member G.N. Saibaba from New Delhi. The state intelligence agencies should have anticipated retaliatory action by the Maoists against the arrest. The intelligence apparatus seems to have lagged behind,” Tawde said.

Terming the development “very sad”, Tawde demanded a high-level probe into the attack.

He accused the state home department for its “perpetual failure” to tackle the Maoist menace and demanded that sophisticated arms must be provided to security personnel working in Maoist-affected areas.

“Women and Dalits have been unsafe in the state, but with today’s incident, there are apprehensions that even police are not secure in Maoist areas,” Tawde said.

He urged the state government to take full responsibility of the families of those killed in Sunday’s attack, and extend all help and compensation to them.