15 security personnel and one civilian were killed on Wednesday,1 May when Maoists triggered a landmine in Gadchiroli district when Maharashtra marked its foundation day.An Improvised Explosive Device(IED) with 30 kgs explosives was remotely detonated on the Kurkheda–Korchi road in north Gadchiroli, killing 15 Quick Response Team personnel and a civilian driver.The attack has been reported to have taken place around 12 hours after Maoists put 36 vehicles of a road construction contractor nearby on fire.
The Indian Express reported that the Quick Response Team (QRT) from the Kurkheda police station sent to investigate these torching of the vehicles.Maharashtra Director General of Police(DGP)Subodh Jaiswal has admitted that there were some lapses in operational procedures which led to this tragedy. “When most of the people in Dadapur had slept, Maoists came and put up posters and then set the vehicles on fire. After that they moved towards Kurkheda, where they attacked the quick response team.The Maoists had prior information that these policemen were travelling in car and triggered the blast just as their vehicle crossed a culvert,leaving the entire structure was damaged, and the police car went flying in the air killing all policemen and the driver on the spot.”NDTV reported
A top leader in the Communist Party of India (Maoist) named as Bhaskar has been reported as a main accused.
”Bhaskar has been active for the last 15 years. There is already a cash reward of ₹16 lakh for any information regarding his whereabouts”
An officer, who is part of the investigation, said. The officer added that intelligence indicate that Bhaskar was behind the planning as well as the logistics of the attack.
A total of 40 people had died in the two operations by the Gadchiroli police last year.The first operation near Kasnasur resulted in 34 deaths of alleged Maoists, the second at Nainar lead to six.
Posters threatening Prime Minister Modi and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and warning people to stay away from the police were put up by the Maoists. The posters clearly announced that the attack was to avenge last year's operation in which 40 Maoists were killed.