Investigations conducted by security agencies after Sunday’s killing of 15 policemen in Gadchiroli by Naxalites have revealed startling details of meticulous planning by the rebels.
Investigators said the Naxalites did not flee upon shooting and hacking to death the policemen.
In past attacks, Naxalites were found to have waited only as long as it took to collect the dead policemen’s weapons, said the investigators, requesting anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the press.
In Markegaon village, where the attack took place, the Naxalites stayed back and booby-trapped the bodies of the policemen. “The Naxalites used hand grenades on the policemen and placed these under their bodies as booby traps,” an investigator said. “They knew that arriving reinforcements would first remove the bodies, which would result in explosions killing more policemen.”
More police casualties were averted because the commandos of the specialised C-60 anti-Naxal force of the state police and other trained personnel sent to the spot anticipated such a move.
“When the Naxalites realised their design had been seen through, they again attacked,” the investigator added. “But the reinforcements had numerical superiority and the Naxalites were forced to flee.”
Investigators said they believed the Naxalite cadres involved in the attack were from the newly formed border wing of the Dandkaranya zonal committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), which controls Gadchiroli in the state, Bastar in Chhattisgarh and Khammam in Andhra Pradesh.