/ Gadchiroli Naxal attack: Maoists burned 26 vehicles as a trap to target security forces

India Today : May 03, 2019, 09:57 AM

The 26 construction vehicles that were torched in Gadchiroli before the Naxal attack on security forces was a trap laid by the Maoists to bring police reinforcement on the road.

Sources say dreaded Maoist leader Milind Teltumde held a Janta Darbar with villagers before torching the vehicles, appealing them to not participate in government projects. The torching of vehicles was a trap as Maoists knew that police reinforcement will be sent using the same road. An IED was planted on the road, which was triggered using a remote when the vehicle carrying companies passed over it.

Maoists torched 26 vehicles and machines in Dadapur village of Kurkheda where road construction work was going on.

The IED blast in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli that claimed the lives of 15 commandos and a civilian was triggered with more than 30 kilograms of explosives.

Primary investigations by Gadchiroli Police suggest that the explosives were filled in some bucket-like vessels and planted under the culvert below the road on which the blast took place.

The explosion was so huge that it left a 10-feet-deep crater at the spot. Remains of the commandos had to be gathered from afar as bodies were blown into pieces. The vehicle's chassis was also blown 800 meters away from the spot. A report was written on the spot and samples were sent to the forensic laboratory for DNA samples.

A day after the Maoist attack, police cordoned off the area where the blast took place while combing operations were intensified across the district to hunt for Maoists responsible for the attack.

Sources in Gadchiroli Police claimed that the attack was pre-planned and was led by one of the most wanted Maoist leader Milind Teltumde.

Teltumde has a bounty of Rs 1 crore declared on his head by Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Jharkhand and Odisha. His brother Anand Teltumde is a professor with Goa Institute of Management, who is also being investigated by the Pune Police.

The plot behind the IED blast is directly linked with the 26 vehicles that were torched earlier that day in Dadapur village, around 12 kilometer away from the spot where the blast took place.

Several banners were put up by Maoists after vehicles were torched by Maoists in Dadapur village. Some of the banners were put up after the blast that killed 16 people. Banners said that the attack was revenge for the April 22 encounter where 40 Maoist cadres were killed. The banners also talked about remembering the deceased cadres killed in encounters last month.

The banners also talked about dethroning the democratically elected government and that the government is working for the rich and it is a fascist regime. Banners targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and mentioned the names of business tycoons Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani.

Several armoured vehicles were rolled out for movement of forces across the district as deployment increased after the attack. DGP Maharashtra, Subodh Jaiswal also visited the spot and took stock of the situation.

Meanwhile, homage was paid to the martyred commandoes at the Gadchiroli Police ground after which mortal remains of the deceased were handed over to their families. Funeral procession of the martyred commandos was attended by thousands and the procession was led by a band with patriotic songs in the background.