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Maoists kill top Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh

17 people killed,around 20 injured by Naxals in Chhattisgarh,says Union Home Ministry.

Written by Ashutosh Bhardwaj | Raipur |
May 26, 2013 12:04:36 am

In one of the biggest attacks in the history of Maoist insurgency,the rebels are said to have abducted PCC president Nand Kumar Patel and his son Dinesh Patel,besides killing several top Congress leaders,as they assaulted the party’s Parivartan Yatra at Darbha Ghaati on Saturday evening.


Related: All should rise above party politics to fight terror: BJP


While officials are yet to confirm the attack,eyewitnesses said Salwa Judum leader Mahendra Karma,ex-legislator Uday Mudaliyar and another leader Gopi Vadhwani are among those who were killed.

The incident took place when at least 150-200 Maoists,both men and women,attacked the convoy of around 20 vehicles on the Bastar-Sukma national highway on Saturday evening. Maoists first carried out a blast and then opened indiscriminate fire at the convoy,said eyewitnesses.

Joint Secretary (Naxal management) in Union Home Ministry M A Ganpathy said that 17 people were killed and around 20 injured in the attack.

“I was in the same vehicle with Patel and his son. We were asked to come out,they then took the duo away inside the forests,” said Konta MLA Kawasi Lakhma. He managed to make his way to Jagadalpur and has been admitted to the Maharani Hospital. “His condition is stable,” said hospital Dean U S Painkra.

“First a blast,then there was firing on the second,third and fourth vehicles. They were young women and men. They surrounded us from all directions. Several leaders were killed on the spot,“ said survivor Chandreshwar Chandrakar who was hit on the hand.

At least three eyewitnesses said Karma had been killed. “Maoists first asked who is Mahendra Karma… and as he came out of the vehicle with his hands up,Maoists beat him up with their rifles and then fired 10-15 bullets at him,” said one.

State media convenor Shailesh Nitin Trivedi also corroborated their reports. “The survivors called us and said Maoists have taken away the Pradesh Congress Committee president and his son. According to them,some leaders,including Mahendra Karma,have also been killed,” he said.

Another senior leader,Vidya Charan Shukla,received three bullets.

“Our police team has left and will reach the spot soon,” said ADG,Intelligence, Mukesh Gupta.

“I was in the convoy. My vehicle was left behind. The roads had been blocked by felling trees,” said another survivor,Devendra Yadav.

Chief Minister Raman Singh has called off his Vikas Yatra and called an emergency meeting.

Reactions

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appeals to attackers to release at the earliest all those who may have been abducted in Chhattisgarh.

We are shocked,astounded and pained by the attack on our colleagues in Chhattisgarh: Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.

More than 600 CRPF personnel mobilised to sanitise the Naxal attack site in Chhattisgarh’s Jagdalpur district: sources.

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