At least 15 security personnel were martyred in an IED blast triggered by Naxals in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district on Wednesday, police said.
The incident took place when a Quick Response Team (QRT) of Gadchiroli police was on patrolling duty in a vehicle, an official said.
The blast took place as the vehicle reached Lendhari nallah in Kurkheda area, the official said.
Police teams are reaching the spot for evacuation operation, he said.
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack on the security personnel.
Vice President Naidu condemned the attack and conveyed his condolences to the members of the bereaved families.
I condemn the dastardly attack on our security personnel in Gadchiroli today. This senseless attack on our forces is a clear attempt to derail peace and progress. I convey my heartfelt condolences to members of the bereaved families. #Gadchiroli
— VicePresidentOfIndia (@VPSecretariat) May 1, 2019
PM Narendra Modi strongly condemned the Naxal attack on security personnel in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli, saying perpetrators of such violence will not be spared.
Strongly condemn the despicable attack on our security personnel in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. I salute all the brave personnel. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten. My thoughts & solidarity are with the bereaved families. The perpetrators of such violence will not be spared.
— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 1, 2019
Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed his anguish on the Naxal attack
Anguished to know that our 16 police personnel from Gadchiroli C-60 force got martyred in a cowardly attack by naxals today. My thoughts and prayers are with the martyrs’ families. I’m in touch with DGP and Gadchiroli SP.#Gadchiroli — Chowkidar Devendra Fadnavis (@Dev_Fadnavis) May 1, 2019
Home Minister Rajnath Singh also took to Twitter to condemn the cowardly attack, saying their supreme sacrifice while serving the nation will not go in vain. He also assured all help to the Maharashtra government in the wake of a Naxal attack in which 15 security personnel and a civilian were killed.
Attack on Maharashtra Police personnel in Gadchiroli is an act of cowardice and desperation. We are extremely proud of the valour of our police personnel. Their supreme sacrifice while serving the nation will not go in vain. My deepest condolences to their families. 1/2
— Chowkidar Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) May 1, 2019
Those killed were members of the Quick Response Team (QRT) of Gadchiroli police, which was on way to inspect a fleet of torched vehicles belonging to a road construction contractor, police said.
The blast followed Naxals torching 25 vehicles belonging to a road construction contractor earlier in the day, police said.
(With inputs from agency)