Sources reveal that the Naxals had called for a two-day bandh in Bhandara, Gondia, Gadchiroli against the recently held General Elections. As a part of bandh the Naxals had blocked several roads.
The reports reaching the headquarters said that a police party led by inspector Ashok Aiyyar went to the hills of Hatti Tola to clear Dhanora-Murumgaon road, which was blocked by Naxalites by felling trees.
As the police party reached the spot at about 3.30 pm and started clearing the roads, guerrillas hiding in the forest opened indiscriminate fire. Police personnel retaliated and a gun battle raged for about three hours. But in the end, all the 16 cops were killed.
Sources said that the Naxals set the police vehicles on fire after looting the arms and ammunition and fled into the jungles. It is the first instance were five women constable have been killed in the encounter.