Lucknow: Several areas in Uttar Pradesh have been put on alert in the wake of Wednesday’s Naxal attack in Gadchiroli of Maharashtra, in which 15 Maharashtra police personnel and the driver of the vehicle they were travelling in lost their lives.

The alert, issued by the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to UP police is for Chandauli, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra areas. In the wake of the specific inputs received, heavy security has been deployed in and around all these regions.

Earlier on Wednesday, an IED blast triggered by Naxals in Gadchiroli’s Jambhurkheda village claimed 16 lives. Besides, over 50 road construction machines and vehicles were also set ablaze by the Maoists.  All the security personnel belonged to the C60 group, that is, the anti-Naxal operation team. Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Ankush Shinde confirmed the number of casualties.

Hitting out at Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar took to Twitter and demanded his resignation.

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.”

The Lok Sabha Elections 2019 voting in Gadchiroli was held on April 11 amidst the boycott call by the Naxals. The counting of votes will be held on May 23.