BJP MLA Killed in Dantewada Maoist Attack; PM Modi & Rahul Mourn
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi and four security personnel were killed on Tuesday, 9 April, when their convoy was attacked by Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, days before the first-phase polling in the state.
The Maoists blew up a vehicle in the convoy with an IED and opened fire. The IED blast left a big crater in the middle of the road.
“Firing continued for around half-an-hour. Cars following were also attacked. They fought for quite some time. Because the blast was so intense, the car blew up into pieces and everyone was killed on the spot. The reinforcement reached on time but because the IED was so intense, it wasn’t possible to save anyone.”Abhishek Pallav, SP, Dantewada
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday "strongly" condemned the Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh, saying the sacrifice of those killed will not go in vain.
BJP President Amit Shah called it an “act of cowardice”.
Former Chhattisgarh chief minister and BJP leader Raman Singh attacked the state Congress government and said their failures have started showing. He also said that he would demand an investigation into the incident.
“There are others who were campaigning for elections, nobody was hurt. But Bhima Mandavi was targeted because he was the only BJP leader (in Dantewada region). I will demand an investigation into this. I’m in contact with central ministers, I spoke to the prime minister an hour ago. I’ll go to Dantewada and meet families of the deceased. We are seeing the difference between Congress’ actions and words.”Raman Singh, Former Chhattisgarh CM
Congress President Rahul Gandhi condemned the attack terming it a "very tragic" incident.
Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel also expressed his condolences and mourned the death of the BJP MLA.
The attack is reminiscent of a similar incident that took place in the Naxal hotbed of Bastar ahead of the Assembly elections in May 2013. Twenty-seven people, including senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma and former Union minister VC Shukla, were killed in the ambush.
Before the Assembly elections in November last year, a CISF personnel and three civilians were killed in Dantewada when an improvised explosive device planted by Naxalites tore through a bus.
Dantewada falls in the Bastar Lok Sabha seat which will go to polls in the first phase on 11 April.
(With inputs from PTI)