Chhattisgarh Naxal attack: Mahendra Karma was reportedly shot in cold blood

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Chhattisgarh Naxal attack: Mahendra Karma was reportedly shot in cold blood
Raipur:  Mahendra Karma, the tribal leader who founded the anti-Naxalite "Salwa Judum" movement in Chhattisgarh, was reportedly shot dead in cold blood in Saturday's attack by suspected Maoists. Twenty five people have been killed and 32 are injured.

According to sources in the Central Reserve Police (CRPF), the Maoists attacked the Congress convoy when it was coming back from Sukma to Jagdalpur after a rally. The attack took place in the deeply forested area between Tongpal and Dharba, which is a hilly area, sources said.

In the meticulously planned attack, the Maoists occupied a higher point and blocked the road with trucks, sources said, adding that the Maoists first blasted a heavy Improvised Explosive Device (IED) then several more. Heavy firing followed.

Although the security forces fired back they soon exhausted their ammunition and were cornered. The Maoists then pulled out Mr Karma from his vehicle and killed him. Eyewitness say when the alleged Maoists struck, mobile phones of all leaders were also snatched. There was no prior intelligence input about the attack, sources said.

Mr Karma, who had survived an assassination attempt last year, had Z-plus security which means that a posse of about 30 policemen guarded him.

State Congress president Nand Kumar Patel, who was missing since the attack, has also been found dead. State Congress spokesperson Rajesh Bissa said Mr Patel's son, who was also missing, was found dead this morning.

Former Union minister VC Shukla is critically ill with three bullet wounds in his abdomen. He is being operated upon at the Medanta Medicity Hospital in Gurgaon.



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