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Fadnavis must resign after deadly Naxal attack, says oppn


Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

Opposition Congress and the NCP Wednesday demanded Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's resignation following the Naxal attack in Gadchiroli in which 15 policemen and a civilian were killed.

The Congress also demanded a compensation of Rs 50 lakh

each for the families of the deceased jawans, all members of the Quick Response Team (QRT) of the Gadchiroli police.

Fadnavis holds the home portfolio and "he should step down immediately", NCP chief Sharad Pawar tweeted.

"Those who feel shame of conscience if not shame of public opinion would have resigned. But the people who are in power today are not going to do so," he added.

Claiming that the Naxal activities in the state were increasing, Pawar said it was the result of "rulers neglecting law and order situation in the Naxal-affected areas".

"Hence, there is no option but to condemn the attack and express grief over the jawans' deaths," the NCP president said.

State NCP chief and former Maharashtra home minister Jayant Patil said the Naxals deliberately struck on the state's foundation day as they wanted to "demoralise" the police force.

"We will not allow this attempt to demoralise the state by deliberately carrying out the attack on Maharashtra Day to succeed," Patil tweeted.

The Maharashtra Congress said the chief minister should quit on moral grounds.

In a statement here, state Congress president Ashok Chavan accused the BJP-led government of being soft on Naxalism and terrorism.

"What was the home department doing when Naxals were planning such a huge attack on the foundation day of Maharashtra?" he asked.

Chavan, the former chief minister, demanded that the kin of the slain jawans be given a compensation of Rs 50 lakh each.

He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had claimed that the 2016 demonetisation exercise would curb terror and Naxal activities, but this has not happened.

On the contrary, under the BJP rule, the morale of Naxals and terrorists has only grown, Chavan said.

Sixteen persons, including 15 policemen, were killed after Naxals blew up their vehicle in Maharashtra's Gadchiroli district on Wednesday, officials said.

Before the blast, Naxals had torched 25 vehicles belonging to a road construction contractor.

The slain QRT jawans were on their way to inspect the torched vehicles, an official said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, May 01 2019. 21:45 IST