New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said on Thursday that it has filed a chargesheet against 12 Communist Party of India (Maoist) members for carrying out a land mine attack on a Quick Response Team (QRT) in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli in which 15 security personnel and one civilian were killed in May this year.
An NIA spokesperson said that the anti-terror probe agency filed the chargesheet under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, Explosives Substances Act and Unlawaful Activities Prohibition Act (UAPA) against eight arrested Maoists and four absconding Maoists in a special NIA court in Mumbai.
The NIA filed the chargesheet against Nirmala Kumari Uppuganti aka Narmada Akka, Sathyanarayana Rani aka Kiran, Dilip Hidami, Parasram Tulavi, Somsay Madavi, Kisan Hidami, Sukharu Gota aka Sakru Gota, Kailash Ramchandani and four absconding Maoists namely Malojulla Venugopal aka Bhupati, Satish aka Adhave, Dinkar aka Shivram Bikaru Gota aka Salim, and Durgesh aka Dulu Budhu Vatti.
The case pertains to the killing of 15 QRT personnel and a civilian driver in a land mine blast carried out by the Maoists under a small culvert or bridge near Jambhulkheda village in Gadchiroli on May 1.
The NIA had registered a case on May 5 and during investigation it was found that the accused persons were members of the banned terrorist organisation CPI (Maoist).
According to the NIA, they entered into a conspiracy to destabilise the government and in pursuance with the directions of their senior cadre members and office bearers of CPI (Maoist), they carried out the killings.
The spokesperson said that investigations revealed that the attack on the QRT was planned to avenge the killing of 40 Maoists in an ambush by the security personnel on April 23, 2018.
He said the accused persons had hatched the conspiracy and planted an IED below the culvert on Kurkheda-Purada Road near Jambhulkheda village in Gadchiroli in the intervening night of April 28-29, 2019.
The spokesperson said that to avenge the death of their fellow members, a team of Maoists first set ablaze and damaged 27 vehicles of Amar Infrastructure Company, which is engaged in construction work, parked at Dadapur village in Gadchiroli early on May 1.
When the QRT reached the spot on a civil vehicle for investigation, Hidami, Madavi, Kisan Hidami, Sukharu Gota, Satish, Durgesh, Mangesh, Prakash, Anil and Kishan, who were present near the culvert since the night of April 30, triggered the IED, resulting in the death of 15 security personnel and one civilian driver on the spot.
The NIA spokesperson said that the Maoists then looted the weapons, ammunition, walkie-talkie sets and other material from the QRT and ran away into the jungle.