Slain DD Cameraperson, Achyuta Nanda, Is Survived by Pregnant Wife

DD cameraperson Achyuta Nanda Sahu was covering elections in Chhattisgarh, when he was ambushed in a Naxal attack.

3 min read
DD Cameraperson Achyuta Nanda’s selfie with children.

Doordarshan cameraperson Achyuta Nanda Sahu, who was killed in a Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh’s Dhantewada on Tuesday, 30 October, had a brief stint with the armed forces, his boss told The Quint.

Deen Dayal Burma, chief cameraperson at Doordarshan, said Sahu had served as non-commissioned officer in the armed forces, but had to quit service owing to problems at home. “But in a matter of five years, he (Sahu) became the top cameraperson at DD for news,” said Burma.

Sahu was part of a Doordarshan crew and was with a joint search team of police and CRPF jawans. The group was ambushed inside a jungle between Aranpur and Nilabhaya area of Dantewada. Along with Sahu, two other policemen were killed in the incident.

Sahu is survived by his parents and wife. Barely four hours before he was ambushed by Naxals, Sahu had posted pictures and videos from the poll-bound state on his Facebook profile.

Achyuta Nanda Sahu on the right.
Achyuta Nanda Sahu on the right.
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Achyuta Nanda Sahu)

Among the many pictures put up by Sahu on his profile is a selfie with children. His colleagues say Sahu’s humble demeanour made him a favourite at Doordarshan, where he had been working for about four-five years.

Sahu’s colleague and DD cameraperson Vicky Rajput told The Quint that he was extremely passionate about his work and would give his best to any work assigned to him.

Rajput also mentioned that Sahu and his wife were expecting. “He got married around three years back, but the couple had some problems in conceiving a child. Finally, this year, his wife conceived,” said Rajput.

‘Sahu Was More Than Just a Cameraperson’

For journalist Dheeraj Kumar, Sahu was more than just a cameraperson. The two had been covering pre-poll stories in Chhattisgarh for the last five days, during which Kumar had learnt a great deal from Sahu. On Tuesday, 30 October, their vehicles were just 50 metres apart when the group was attacked by Naxals.

“He was extremely professional and would often advise me on recording my PTCs [piece to camera] in a particular way. He also told me to talk to people first before asking them questions on camera.”
Dheeraj Kumar

Kumar recalled how Sahu would often ask him to not worry about camerawork, but to concentrate on reportage. But Sahu’s professionalism never came in the way of his love for food. “He was extremely professional about stories, but would only start the day after having breakfast,” Kumar added.

The two had been out on earlier assignments as well, but Kumar was so shaken by the incident that it all seemed a blur to the journalist who witnessed 45 minutes of gunfire in front of his own eyes.

Sahu’s Loss ‘Irreplaceable,’ Says His Boss at DD

At Doordarshan, the void left by Sahu’s untimely demise, is “irreplaceable,” says his boss Deen Dayal Burma. With just an experience of five years, Sahu had not only mastered the art of the camera, but would also look for new and innovative ways of shooting. Burma added that Sahu’s idea of journalism was one of courage, and he would intentionally take up difficult assignments.

He was constantly exploring new ways of shooting, including the use of drones and pocket cameras.  He would voluntarily take up difficult assignments.
Deen Dayal Sahu

Reacting to the unfortunate incident, Manoj, Sahu’s friend said, “I am shocked. We are childhood friends. He was a very good person. The last time we met was when he visited Odisha to cover the inauguration of Jharsuguda airport by PM Modi. He was with DD News for the last five years.”

Sahu was the youngest among three brothers. He hailed from Ghusuramunda village in Loisingha Block of Balangir District in Odisha, and was residing in Dwarka, Delhi.

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