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Gadchiroli Naxal attack: Martyred jawans fail to get insurance cover

Maharashtra Police failed to renew group insurance policy on time

In a major embarrassment for the Maharashtra Government, 15 police commandos martyred in a Naxal attack in Gadchiroli earlier this month will not get an insurance cover of ₹20 lakh because Maharashtra Police failed to renew group insurance policy offered under the Security Related Expenditure (SRE) fund until last year. Maharastra Director General of Police (DGP) S.K. Jaiswal has now issued a strict reprimand to the Administrative Department after it lost the file in the back-and-forth process related to the SRE fund provided by the Centre.

Sources said Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has now issued orders to provide alternative insurance as an Extra Grant on an immediate basis from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.

In one of the worst retaliatory attacks on anti-Naxal security forces, earlier this month, Maoist insurgents triggered an IED blast, killing 15 jawans and a civilian in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district. A unit of the Quick Response Team (QRT) of the Gadchiroli Police was on its way to provide reinforcements to the police station in the Kurkheda taluk, a day after Naxals torched 36 vehicles meant to assist road construction work in the Dadpur village.

Senior officials said the developments related to the insurance policy cover have greatly upset the families of the slain jawans. They have already demanded a high-level probe into lapses in the standard operating procedures (SOP) followed.

The Chief Minister had, following the attack, announced an aid of ₹50 lakh for every martyred jawan, but in the absence of the insurance cover, the government may have to substitute that with an Extra Grant.

“We should be able to approve the extra grant at the earliest, but the process will take some time,” an official said.

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