Raipur/New Delhi: Home Ministry sources have told NDTV that the Maoists may specifically have targeted the convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh as it was a 'soft target'. According to top Home Ministry sources, Maoists had suffered several setbacks in the past few months and wanted to retaliate. They appointed central committee member Katakam Sudershan, who then planned the lethal attack on the Congress' convoy.
Here are the 10 latest developments in the case:
- The Home Ministry has issued an advisory to other Maoist-hit states, warning that more attacks are possible. (Track live updates)
- The Centre has alleged security lapses led to Saturday's massacre in which 24 people, including top Congress leaders, were killed. Chief Minister Raman Singh told NDTV that a probe into the security lapses will be conducted, and the guilty will be punished. (Read)
- A preliminary review by the Home Ministry has revealed there was no security preparation and the Congress convoy breached standard operating procedure. Instead of senior police officials of the state, the planning was left to individual police stations in the area. (Read)
- Standard security instructions provide that political leaders must not travel together through Naxal-dominated areas in a single convoy. Yet on Saturday evening, almost all the top leaders of the Congress' Chhattisgarh unit were travelling in the line of 25 cars.
- Questions are also being raised on whether the route of the Congress convoy was changed, but sources tell NDTV that is just speculation so far and that the convoy was taking the shortest route.
- A team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has begun its probe into the attack. RPN Singh, Minister of State, Home, said today that the agency will investigate if there were any security lapses.(Read)
- Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde is yet to come back from the US, where he went for Sources say the official part of his trip to the US is over but Mr Shinde has extended his visit. Chief of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) Pranay Sahay is also reportedly on leave.
- The Centre today announced 2000 more personnel from central police forces will be sent to Chhattisgarh. The state already has a deployment of 30, 000 central police force officials.(Read)
- Tribal leader Mahendra Karma and Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel were killed in the attack. They were cremated in their respective villages today.
- A condolence meet was held in the Congress headquarters in Raipur today evening.