Chhattisgarh BJP MLA, 5 Security Personnel Killed In Maoist Attack

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09 April 2019

Panchanan Dash

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Raipur/Malkangiri: Ahead of the Phase-I polls across the country on April 11, a massive attack has been unleashed by the Left Wing Extremists (LWEs) in which a sitting MLA of Chhattisgarh and five security personnel were killed on Tuesday when the Maoists exploded an improvised explosive device (IED) in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, authorities said.

The incident has taken place in the tribal-dominated Bastar region following which Dantewada BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi along with five security personnel were killed due to triggering of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast.

The MLA was was given a security cover of 50 DRV personnel for campaigning. At around 3 pm when he was at Bacheli, the local police station in-charge advised him not to proceed towards Kuwakonda, Dantwada SP, Dr Abhishek Pallav said.

"Despite of police' advisory, the MLA insisted to travel further and the deadly blast took about two kilometres from Kuwakonda. Mandavi, his PSO Kuldip Somru, Ramlal Oyam, Police driver Danteshwar were martyred in the maoist-strike," Pallav added.

Tailing Mandavi's vehicle was a police patrol jeep which was also attacked by the Maoist. There were five security personnel in the patrol jeep.

"Intensive firing followed the attack from both sides and the reinforcements also arrived fast. Unfortunately, the intensity of the IED blast was extreme due to which it was not possible to save lives," Pallav said.

Authorities said that the incident took place at around 4.30 pm when the convoy of the MLA was passing by. Visuals from the blast site showed the mangled remains of the vehicle and a gaping hole on the road on which it passed before Naxals blew it up.

The attack used an improvised explosive device. The incident took place at Shyamagiri hills when Mandavi’s convoy was heading towards Kuwakonda from Bacheli area.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has called a high-level meeting after the attack. The Bastar Lok Sabha seat, in which Dantewada is located, votes on Thursday in the parliamentary elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly condemned the attack and paid tributes to the security personnel who were killed. “Shri Bhima Mandavi was a dedicated Karyakarta of the BJP,” he said. “Diligent and courageous, he assiduously served the people of Chhattisgarh. His demise is deeply anguishing.”

(with inputs from IANS)

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Dr Abhishek Pallav, SP, Dantewada