In one of the worst Maoist attacks on security forces in Maharashtra, 15 policemen including a sub-inspector were killed in the jungles of Markegaon village in Dhanora tehsil of Gadchiroli district, around 300 km from Nagpur, on Sunday morning. No casualties were reported among the Maoists.
According to police sources, around 40 Maoists of the newly-formed Border-Platoon Dalam were involved in the ambush. Markegaon is close to the Gyrapatti-Sawargaon road and Gyrapatti police assistance centre, which is along the Maharashtra-Chhattisgarh border.
The police sub-inspector killed has been identified as Bhupendra Gudgekar of Amravati. A number of cops took bullet injuries. A sources in Gadchiroli police said, ''The police party was heading towards Markegaon, some 45 km from Dhanora, to investigate into the January 30 arson committed by the Maoists, when the rebels attacked them. The police party was ambushed in such a manner that all the members, including head PSI Gudgekar, were killed on spot.''
The ambush took place at around 11.15 am. When a relief party reached the area to rescue the first team, it, too, was attacked, preventing immediate reinforcement. But by late Sunday afternoon, more than 3,000 police personnel were sent to Gadchiroli. The ambush itself was triggered after nearly 40 Maoists of Tippagarh Dalam torched a road-roller and a tractor pressed for building a bridge near Markegaon village on Sawargaon-Kotgul road, on January 30. The police party had left to investigate the arson attack and was heading for the spot for further investigation when they were ambushed in the dense forest. Condemning the attack, Maharashtra minister of state for home Nitin Raut said, ''Not satisfied with killing the cops, the Maoists also placed explosives on the bodies of dead cops. They also took away the weapons.''
He admitted that Maharashtra Anti-Naxal Operations helicopter was not flight worthy for the past few months. But another helicopter from Nagpur flew to Dhanora for rescue operation. The bodies of the cops were airlifted to Gadchiroli by Sunday evening.
Government's negligence towards this Naxal maoist terrorists infected area of Gadchiroli is startling!
Gadchiroli is considered a punishment posting for obvious reasons. Cops admit that mortality rate is quite low here. If Naxals don't target you, the mines planted them will.
With all establishments closed for the day, as a mark of respect the policemen, Chavan and some of his cabinet colleagues were assured of a good audience. He landed at about 3 pm by a helicopter from Nagpur. Chopper, did one say? The Anti-Naxal Organisation has been fighting for a chopper to help in combing and fighting operations in the forests. One landed last year but could not take off. Now, the only blades they see are the ones on the fan in their dormitories. And, yes, Chavan did say that Rs 330 crore has been spent on fighting Naxalism in the last year and another Rs 1300 crore has been earmarked for the next three years.
Had the money been spent to armour the state cops better, Chavan wouldn't have been in Gadchiroli on Monday.
Some 26/11 heroes were decorated with Padma awards. 01/02 cops deserve nothing short of the Bharat Ratna, commented a face in olive green.
Oh, this news reporter will be in trouble with communal pseudo-secular Congress et al for referencing the place by its original name Dandakaranya, as mentioned in Hindu Holy scripture Ramayam during God Shri Ram ji's time during Treta Yug.
The police have learnt that a formidable team was brought on one platform by the rebels under Diwakar, recently promoted as member of Dandakaranya special zonal committee, for the attack. Apparently, the attack was carried out with the support of a number of nearby villages and resulted in an entire short range patrol party of Gadchiroli police being wiped out.Sources:
- Maoists kill 15 Maharashtra cops in jungle ambush
- Naxal attack: Over 5,000 turn out for cops’ funeral
- 'Blood sprayed on me as Naxals shot cops'
- Engineer-MBA Upendra always wanted to be a cop
- 01/02 attackers’ cook: Trap was in place for 5 days
- Sorry Mr Chavan, you are not Maharashtra CM
- List of Martyrs from Maharashtra Police who have fought with Naxals