Categorized | South Asian Politics

Chhattisgarh Naxal attack: Senior Congress leader and 17 others killed

Posted on 29 May 2013 by admin

Nation will not be intimidated: Indian President

Divya Kaeley

In an unprecedented attack, Naxals on Saturday targeted a convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh’s Jagdalpur district, killing the party’s senior leader Mahendra Karma, who was the guiding force behind Salwa Judum. The attack by nearly 100 to 150 ultras claimed 17 lives and injured 20 others, including former union minister VC Shukla. Joint Secretary (Naxal management) in the Union Home Ministry MA Ganpathy told a news agency in New Delhi that most of the dead and injured were Congress leaders and workers, adding four to five of those killed in the attack were personal security officers of the Congress leaders.
Mahendra Karma, the tribal Congress leader who organised the anti-Naxalite “Salwa Judum” movement in Chhattisgarh, was reportedly shot dead in cold blood in Saturday’s attack.
The suspected Maoists, who attacked a convoy of cars carrying top Congress leaders of Chhattisgarh, including Mr Karma, after a rally, had the strategic advantage of surprise and location.

Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel is missing after an alleged Maoist attack in the state’s Jagdalpur district. Reports say Mr Patel may have been abducted by the attackers, who killed Congress leader Mahendra Karma and injured former union minister VC Shukla. According to reports, Mr Patel’s son Dinesh was abducted but was later released.

 Shocked over the Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh, President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said the nation will neither be overawed nor intimidated by such actions.
In his message, the President said, “I am deeply dismayed and shocked at the wanton violence unleashed by Maoists in Chhattisgarh on a convoy of vehicles carrying leaders of the Congress Party.”

Congress President Sonia Gandhi has condemned as “despicable” the alleged attack on her party colleagues in Chhattisgarh’s Jagdalpur district and held a meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the “shocking” incident.
Mrs Gandhi, who was accompanied by party Vice President Rahul Gandhi, told reporters in New Delhi after the meeting with Dr Singh, that they are “shocked, astounded and pained by the attack on our colleagues.”

Terming the Naxal attack on Congress leaders’ convoy in Chhattisgarh as “an attack on the Indian political system”, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan expressed condolence over the killing of party leader Mahendra Karma in the incident on Saturday evening.

“The attack has exposed the ugly face of Naxalism. It is an attack on the Indian political system,” the Chief Minister said, expressing shock at the dastardly act. “By attacking in this manner Naxalites would not be able to weaken the people’s confidence and their morale,” Chouhan said.

After a major Naxal attack on a Congress rally in Chhattisgarh, the Union Home Ministry on Saturday night said it is rushing additional paramilitary forces to help launch a combing operation for release of abducted leaders. ”Home Ministry has sent additional forces to Chhattisgarh to assist the local administration in launching combing operations for rescue of kidnapped persons,” Home Ministry sources said adding “the state government has been assured of all help”.

The Home Ministry has also sought a report from the state government on today’s violence. The MHA officials are in regular touch with state government officials and are monitoring the situation. Union Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs Kamal Nath said on Sunday that both the Centre and the states should jointly draw a strategy to end the Naxal menace in the country.
“Both the Centre and the State should jointly draw a solid strategy to end the menace of Naxalism in the country,” Nath told reporters at village Barra where he had come to take part in the death rituals of senior Congress leader Harvansh Singh. NDA convener and JD(U) president, Sharad Yadav, on Sunday termed Maoism as a “deep-rooted” problem which cannot be solved merely by arms.
Strongly condemning the Maoist attack on Congress leaders in Sukma district in Chhattisgarh yesterday, Yadav told reporters at Sailana, that “Maoism cannot be solved merely by arms”. The JD-U leader who arrived here to take part in a party programme, said that Maoism should be addressed politically, economically and legally.

Condemning attack on Congress rally in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for “a policy of zero tolerance” towards terrorism and Naxalism.

“Gruesome attack in Chhattisgarh is an attack on democracy. Time has come to adopt policy of Zero Tolerance towards Terrorism & Naxalism,” Modi tweeted.

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