New Delhi: As a mark of respect for the 16 personnel who were martyred in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli in an attack carried out by Naxals, state governor CH. Vidyasagar Rao on Wednesday cancelled the reception and cultural programme scheduled to be organized at Raj Bhavan, Mumbai today evening.

Notably, the programme was organised for eminent personalities and diplomats to celebrate the 59th anniversary of Maharashtra Day.

Earlier in the day, at least 16 Maharashtra police personnel lost their lives in an IED blast by Naxals in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli in Jambhurkheda village. Naxals also allegedly set ablaze over 50 machines and vehicles at a road construction site. All the security personnel belonged to the C60 group, that is, the anti-Naxal operation team.

As of now, an investigation into the matter is underway and the entire area has been cordoned off.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the dastardly attack and said, “Strongly condemn despicable attack on our security personnel in Gadchiroli, Maharashtra. Salute all brave personnel. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten. My thoughts and solidarity are with bereaved families. Perpetrators of such violence will not be spared.”

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis also condemned the attack and expressed grief. Fadnavis said, “Anguished to know that our 16 police personnel from Gadchiroli C-60 force got martyred in a cowardly attack by Naxals today. My thoughts and prayers are with the martyrs’ families. I’m in touch with DGP and Gadchiroli SP.”