Two Maoists, allegedly involved in the killing of BJP legislator Bhima Mandavi, were gunned down this morning in an encounter in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district, officials said.
"The Maoists, killed in the encounter, have been identified as Malangir Area Committee Maoist student wing in-charge Vargese and Linga, a member of Katekalyan area's local organisation squad. They were allegedly involved in the ambush in which Mandavi and his four security personnel were killed on April 9," Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava said.
The anti-Maoist operation was carried out at around 5:30 am in a forest in Dantewada's Daulikarka village by a team of the District Reserve Guard (DRG), Deputy Inspector General (anti-Naxal operations) Sundarraj told PTI.
A Maoist, Dasru, injured in the encounter, is undergoing treatment, said officials. A 315 bore rifle and a muzzle loading rifle, along with other explosive materials, were recovered from the encounter site.
Vargese, who was the in-charge of the student wing of the banned outfit, Malangir Area Committee, was believed to be an expert in assembling an planting improvised explosive devices.
BJP legislator Bhima Mandavi and four security personnel were killed on April 9, two days before the national elections began, when Maoists ambushed his convoy near Shyamagiri hills in Dantewada, about 350 km from state capital Raipur. His convoy was heaed towards Kuwakonda from Bacheli area when the Maoists blew up their vehicle with an IED and opened fire at the occupants.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the BJP legislator's death and said he "assiduously served the people of Chhattisgarh" .
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.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 9, 2019
Strongly condemn the Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh. My tributes to the security personnel who were martyred. The sacrifices of these martyrs will not go in vain.— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 9, 2019
"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 Modi had tweeted after the attack.
(With inputs from PTI)
Get the latest election news, live updates and election schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on ndtv.com/elections. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram for updates from each of the 543 parliamentary seats for the 2019 Indian general elections. Election results will be out on May 23.