Suspected Maoists on Thursday struck again in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra and killed three policemen in a landmine blast and a gunbattle at Jhilia village, bordering Chhattisgarh, some 300 km from eastern part of Maharashtra.
Two jawans were reported to have been injured during the attack. The firing between the Maoists and the jawans continued for over two hours, according to reports reaching the state headquarters of anti-naxalite operation (ANO) in Nagpur.
The incident occurred when the jawans of the special action group were resting at a school building in Jhilia after night patrolling.
The suspected Maoists planted a landmine there and triggered a blast. It was followed by an exchange of fire between the special action group and the red ultras which killed the three jawans on the spot and wounded two others.
The red ultras fled as soon as the district police headquarters sent an additional police force to the spot.
The jawans, who were killed in the attack have been identified as Satryavan Bachhelwar (Gadchiroli), Ravi Surjanwar (Aheri in Gadchrioli) and Nishant Bhore (Gondia). The injured jawans have been shifted to a government-run general hospital at Gadchiroli.
Earlier on May 25 this year, Maoists had attacked a convoy of Indian National Congress leaders in the Darbha Valley in the Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. The attack caused at least 27 deaths, including that of former state minister Mahendra Karma and Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel.
A senior Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla later succumbed to his injuries on June 11, 2013.
On July 14 this year, a former special police officer (SPO), who had been associated with the banned Salwa Judum, Dilip Narote, was shot dead by the Maoists in Yerkad village of Gadchiroli on the suspicion that he was working as a police informer.
Narote had worked as an SPO for a CRPF battalion before Salwa Judum (civilian militia) was disbanded.