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Maharashtra Police Officer Suspended for Gadchiroli Maoist Attack

Kale had allegedly ordered the police team to travel to a location in the Naxal-affected district. On their way the police personnel, who were travelling in a private vehicle, came under attack.

PTI

Updated:June 21, 2019, 10:31 PM IST
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Maharashtra Police Officer Suspended for Gadchiroli Maoist Attack
Charred vehicles which were allegedly torched by Maoists, at Kukheda town in Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra. (Image: PTI)

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government Friday suspended a sub-divisional police officer (SDPO), admitting that "none of" the laid-down procedures were followed which led to the May 1 Naxal attack in Gadchiroli district in which 15 police personnel were killed.

The suspension of Shailesh Kale, the SDPO of Kurkheda in Gadchiroli district, was announced in the Legislative Council by Minister of State for Home Deepak Kesarkar.

Standard operating procedures (SOPs) were not followed which led to the Naxal attack and the heavy casualties, the minister said.

Kale had allegedly ordered the police team to travel to a location in the Naxal-affected district. On their way the police personnel, who were travelling in a private vehicle, came under attack.

As many as 15 personnel and the private vehicle's driver were killed when Naxals triggered an improvised explosive device (IED) blast.

Kesarkar made the announcement about Kale's suspension after Prakash Gajbhiye (Congress) raised the issue of Naxal menace through a calling attention.

"We have found that standard operating procedures were not followed. There are laid-down procedures and none of it was followed. We will suspend the official today itself," the minister said in the House.

"There were several lapses the way the police moved. They should have used mine-protected vehicles," he said.

The minister, however, added that in certain circumstances police and other security forces are allowed to use private vehicles for travelling in Naxal-affected areas.

Talking about the government's anti-Naxal strategy, he said in 2018, 50 Naxals were killed by police.

"The state government is in process of introducing modern technology and drones to generate faster alerts about Naxal movement. There are sufficient funds available," the minister said.

The state government has also implemented several programmes for job creation in the area, Kesarkar said.

"The government has also given jobs to the wives or relatives of the informants who were killed by Naxals," he said.

The minister admitted that in some cases there are disputes within the slain person's family as to who should get the government job.

"The state government has started asking the families to unanimously suggest the name of the person who should be considered for recruitment," he added. ​

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