Mumbai: Fifteen C-60 commandos and a driver were killed by Maoists in an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in Gadchiroli on Wednesday.
Banners condemning the killing of Maoists were also found in affected areas, the police said.
Last April, C-60 commandos had an encounter with Maoists at Kapewancha. Those murdered in the two-day operation included a divisional committee member, Nandu. During search operations following the first encounter, 15 Naxals’ bodies were found in the Indravati river.
This encounter marked the end of ‘Perilial dalam’ of the Maoists, which was one of their most active groups in the recent past. The last dalam that had been wiped out by security forces prior to this was the Sironcha dalam.
The forces had recovered two AK47s, two SLRs, one .303 bore, five 8mm, and six 12-bore firearms from the spot.
Maharashtra director general of police Subodh Kumar Jaiswal said that the Naxal attack in Gadchiroli was not the result of an intelligence failure. Terming it a “big loss” for the force, Mr Jaiswal said that police “were ready to give a befitting reply to the Naxals”.
“I cannot call this an intelligence failure... The Maharashtra police will take whatever action needed against such activities. It is a big loss for the Maharashtra police,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis condemned the attack, stating that the Naxal menace would be fought with stronger efforts....