MLA dead as Naxals attack BJP Convoy
Just 48 hours before Lok Sabha elections in the Bastar region, five people, including BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi, were killed on Tuesday in a Naxal attack in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. An Improvised Explosive Device (IED) was used by the Naxals in the attack that took place at Nakulnar in the district.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has called a high-level meeting in Raipur. The attack took place between Kuakonta and Shyamgiri hills when the escort vehicle of the state police was targetted with the IED. Four personnel of the Chhattisgarh Police were killed in the attack. A reinforcement party of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was rushed to the spot.
Condemning the attack, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, that the sacrifices of these martyrs will not go in vain. “Shri Bhima Mandavi was a dedicated Karyakarta of the BJP. Diligent and courageous, he assiduously served the people of Chhattisgarh. His demise is deeply anguishing. Condolences to his family and supporters. Om Shanti,” PM tweeted. P Sundar Raj, DIG, Naxal operations, said that the MLA’s vehicle came in the ambit of the IED blast that left a huge crater on the site of the attack.
The Bastar region has 12 MLAs, of which Mandavi was the lone BJP legislator. The 11 other MLAs are from the Congress. A preliminary report suggests that an ambush was set up by the Naxals to target the convoy.
The attack comes months after a Doordarshan journalist and two police personnel were killed while two others injured in an ambush by Naxals in the Aranpur sector of Dantewada district.
The attack is being seen as a clear call by the Naxals to boycott the Lok Sabha polls which are scheduled to be held in three phases in Chhattisgarh. The election in the Bastar region is to be held in the first [phase on April 11.
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