Police officer Sharad Shelar says the rebels triggered a land mine blast in the forested Gadchiroli area in Maharashtra state as the vehicle was passing through on Wednesday. The high-intensity land-mine blast was executed by Naxals on a police vehicle, which was carrying 16 security personnel, reported ANI.
The team of C60 Commandos was targeted by Naxals in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli, which is infamous for repeated Naxal attacks.
The blast was carried out in protest of the gunning down of 40 Maoists in an operation on April 22 previous year, the police said.
C-60 commando force was conceptualised and raised to battle the Naxal menace in 1992 by the then SP of Gadchiroli Police KP Raghuvansi.
Devendra Fadnavis regarding the tragic incident in Gadchiroli while expressing his grief at the loss of "brave" Police personnel.
Rebels suspected to be members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), or CPI (Maoist), detonated the device on Dadapur road near the village of Jambhurkheda in Gadchiroli, some 250 kilometres from Nagpur, bordering Chhattisgarh. The incident took place at Danapur area in Kurkheda Taluka of the district on late Tuesday. My thoughts and solidarity are with the bereaved families. "We are providing all assistance needed by the state government".
In a major Naxal attack in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district, at least 15 C-60 commandos were martyred and a civilian was killed. "The perpetrators of such violence will not be spared", Modi said in a statement posted on twitter.
PM: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has also condemned the attack, saying attack on Maharashtra Police personnel in Gadchiroli "is an act of cowardice and desperation".
The Gadchiroli-Chimur region had voted in the second phase of Lok Sabha election on April 28 and had recorded highest voting, at 71.58%. We are extremely proud of the valour of our police personnel.
The state police chief asserted that the attack will not deter the forces from continuing their operations against the naxals and vowed to give a "befitting reply". Their supreme sacrifice while serving the nation will not go in vain.