BJP MLA killed after Naxals attack convoy in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada

Bheema Mandavi

Bheema Mandavi

The "meticulously planned attack" was carried out when Mandavi was hurrying to an election meeting just before the close of election campaign at 5 p.m. for the first phase of Lok Sabha polls due on Thursday, the police said.

"The BJP MLA was going to Nakulnar after addressing an election meeting at Bacheli in his bullet proof vehicle along with his PSOs when Maoists triggered the IED blast", said a senior police officer.

According to CRPF, the escort vehicle of Chhattisgarh State Police also came under the blast and five personnel of Chhattisgarh State Police are critically injured. "It left a crater on the ground".

The attack is seen as the Maoists' way of issuing a warning.

The incident while raising a big question on the lack of timely intelligence inputs for the forces and lack of adequate security ensured for the MLA has also sent apprehension among the polling staff who was air-lifted to the hypersensitive polling station for the conduct of the first phase of election in Bastar on April 11.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack and said the sacrifices of the deceased will not go in vain. "The sacrifices of these martyrs will not go in vain", Modi tweeted.

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India has a history of political violence, with particular bloodshed around election time.

Maoist groups are believed to be present in at least 20 other Indian states.

Chhattisgarh police chief DM Awasthi had earlier confirmed the death of five jawans.

Maoists had warned the locals not to vote in the election - posters carrying their message dot the area.

The year before, 25 politicians from the Congress party were murdered in Chhattisgarh in an ambush on their convoy during regional polls.

The decades-old insurgency is believed to have cost tens of thousands of lives.

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