The Naxalites of CPI (Maoist), who had lain low in Gadchiroli for some time now, left a bloody trail on Tuesday evening. The Naxalites triggered a powerful landmine blast near Umanoor hill on Alapalli-Sironcha road killing four jawans.
According to reports reaching the divisional headquarters, the incident occurred when jawans were on way to Sironcha in a police jeep. The Naxalites blew up the jeep killing four jawans and leaving seven others injured.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Viresh Prabhu, the superintendent of police (SP), Gadchiroli informed that four injured jawans were being lifted by helicopter to Nagpur. They were reported to be very serious. Other injured were rushed to Sironcha civic hospital.
The jawans were headed for Sironcha to clear the road, which was blocked by the Red ultras by felling roadside trees. Reports said that the Naxalites were hiding on Umanoor hills, about 60 kms from Allapalli in southern Gadchiroli, and when the jawans reached there, Naxalites triggered the blast and then indiscriminately fired at the jawans.
Ravindra Kadam, the deputy inspector general of police (DIG) and in-charge of anti-Naxal squad, informed that according to preliminary reports four jawans were killed in the blast. "The exchange of fire between the Naxalites and police was still on. Additional police forces were sent to the spot to flush out the extremists," he said and added that more details were awaited.
This is the second major Naxalite offensive in the district this year. Earlier, the Naxalites killed seven persons, including three Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) jawans in October this year in northern Gadchiroli, bordering Chhattisgarh.