A day after 15 policemen and a civilian were killed in a daring Maoist attack in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district, the local police have come under criticism for their failure to enforce standard operating procedures (SOPs), according to reports. The C-60 commandos were heading out of the Kurkheda police station to Dadpur village where the Maoists had the previous night torched 36 vehicles meant to assist the road construction work. Ignoring the protocol of sending an area domination unit to recce the road ahead — which is the usual practice — the QRT unit did not also wait for an anti-landmine vehicle to arrive before deciding to travel in a private vehicle, as reported by The Hindu.
The blast took place between Jamborkheda and Lendhari of the district when the group of security personnel stepped out for their patrolling duty. The exchange of fire was underway between police and Maoists when the last reports came in.
Maharashtra DGP, IG, SP Gadchiroli, Collector Gadchiroli, and anti-Naxal operation officials visited the attack site in Gadchiroli on Thursday. (photo: ANI)
“This was nothing but hubris and a complete failure of intelligence since the men did not follow the basic protocol. I have seen so many ambushes but fail to understand what was the hurry for them to reach the spot (Dadpur) when such an incident had taken place on Tuesday night,” said Dr Charanjeet Singh Saluja, who this year received a President’s Medal for his services to the jawans serving in the highly sensitive zone. The 40-year-old doctor from Punjab has participated in crucial encounters in the region including the attack on May 4, 2017 in the Bhamaraghad tehsil.
There are some reports that suggest that some locals could have helped the Maoists in carrying out strike. Sources in the Gadchiroli Police said preliminary investigation into the attack was pointing towards the role of some locals, who are suspected to have provided information to the Maoists regarding the movement of Quick response Team (QRT) jawans, the Times Now reported. Police suspect that the locals possibly passed on the information about jawans to Naxals after spotting them in a private bus.
Maharashtra DGP, IG, SP Gadchiroli, Collector Gadchiroli, and anti-Naxal operation officials visited the attack site in Gadchiroli on Thursday. Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir will also visit the site later today.
Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Ahir will also visit the site later today. (Photo: ANI)