The Congress on Wednesday targetted the Bharatiya Janata Party government after an attack on police personnel in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district. At least 15 security personnel and a driver were killed in the suspected Maoist attack.
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel condemned the “brutal terror attack”. “Once again terrorists have targeted the convoys of our jawans,” he tweeted. “Clearly despite their tall talk no lessons from Pulwama have been learnt. It is a wake up call for state [and] central government. Country needs preventive action, accountability for this failure [and] not jumlas [tricks] and lectures.”
Forty personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed on February 14 after a militant drove an explosive-laden vehicle into a bus in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district. Jaish-e-Mohammed, a militant outfit, had claimed responsibility for the attack.
Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also condemned the attack and expressed his condolences to the families of those who died. “Their sacrifice would not go in vain,” he said. “390 jawans have been martyred in Naxal attacks in past five years that expose hollow claims by Modi government of securing India.”
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said her government has restored peace in the state’s Junglemahal area, which was once a stronghold of Maoists. The area comprises the districts of Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore. “Let BJP do the same in states like Jharkhand and Maharashtra in dealing with the Naxalites and restore peace,” PTI quoted her as saying. Banerjee was speaking at a public rally at Andul in Howrah district.
Nationalist Congress Party leader Sharad Pawar demanded Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis’s resignation, PTI reported. Pawar said Fadnavis, who holds the home portfolio, should step down immediately.
“Those who feel shame of conscience if not shame of public opinion would have resigned,” he said. “But the people who are in power today are not going to do so.” Pawar claimed Maoist activities were growing in the state and the attack was the result of “rulers neglecting law and order situation in the Naxal-affected areas”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack and said the perpetrators of the blast would not be spared. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the attack was “an act of cowardice and desperation”. “We are extremely proud of the valour of our police personnel. Their supreme sacrifice while serving the nation will not go in vain.”