Leading Indian politician among 25 killed in Maoist ambush

Published: May 26, 2013

DEAN NELSON
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH

Security personnel stand near the body of one of the victims of Saturday’s Maoist attack in a densely forested area in Bastar, about 345 kilometres south of Raipur, Chhattisgarh state, India, Sunday, May 26, 2013. AP

A senior politician in India’s ruling Congress Party has been killed in an ambush by Maoist insurgents in which 25 people died.

An estimated 300 guerrillas known as Naxalites attacked a convoy of senior Congress figures on Saturday afternoon as they returned from a rally in Chhattisgarh, one of India’s poorest states and the centre of a Maoist insurgency.

As the heavily guarded convoy of about 40 cars drove through a densely forested area, the attackers blocked the road by felling trees. They detonated a landmine and raked the vehicles with gunfire from the surrounding high ground for nearly an hour and a half.

The dead included the local Congress leaders Mahendra Karma and former national cabinet minister VC Shukla.

Nand Kumar Patel, the Congress party state leader for Chhattisgarh, was initially reported missing and presumed kidnapped. But he and his son were found dead yesterday, close to the scene.

“When our cars reached a turning point, the Naxals started firing,” an injured Congress worker told NDTV.

“Two cars were blown up and the firing continued for almost one and a half hours. Many people were killed and many sustained bullet injuries. Some of us lay on the road to save ourselves.”

The scale of the assault on a convoy protected by the highest security India offers caused shock across the political spectrum. It was denounced as an attack on democracy by both Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party leaders. Narendra Modi, the nationalist chief minister of Gujarat and contender to be his party’s election campaign leader, called for national unity in the fight against terrorism.

“The need of the hour is to stand together as a nation and vow to fight this menace that threatens our democracy,” he said. “The time has come to adopt a policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism.”

Dr. Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, and Sonia Gandhi, the Congress Party president, visited the injured on Sunday and denounced the ambush as a “cowardly” attack on India’s democratic values.

The Maoist rebellion in India’s south-eastern states has been gathering pace since it began in Naxalbari in 1967.

It claims to represent poor and downtrodden tribal groups that have suffered land seizures and feel marginalised in India’s feudal hinterlands.

Dr. Singh regards the insurgency as the greatest terrorist threat to India, especially in Chhattisgarh, Orissa and parts of West Bengal where it has some support. In April 2010, Naxalites ambushed and killed 76 paramilitary policemen in Chhattisgarh.

The central government has struggled to contain the insurgency in Chhattisgarh, where local Congress leaders formed the controversial Salva Judum vigilante movement to arm villagers to resist the Naxalites. One of those killed in the ambush on Saturday was Mahendra Karma, the Salva Judum movement’s founder.

At least five policemen also died in the attack in the Jagdalpur area of Bastar district, 233 miles south of Raipur.


Tags: , , ,





Featured

attack on Parliament Hill

Soldier, gunman who died in Ottawa rampage identified (w/photos, video) [updated]

ANDREW DUFFY OTTAWA CITIZEN Updates at 5:10 p.m. Soldier killed in War Memorial confirmed as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo Suspect, reportedly Canadian-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killed in Centre Block shootout Police call situation…
Continue Reading »

Parliament gunman shot

Shaken Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims calling from scene of Parliament shooting (w/photos, video)

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW OTTAWA — Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims and their New Democrat colleagues were in a party caucus meeting in Ottawa…
Continue Reading »

LIBERTY MEDAL

Stephen Harper cancels Malala Yousafzai citizenship ceremony in light of Ottawa shooting

THE CANADIAN PRESS TORONTO – Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s office says two scheduled events today in Toronto with Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai have…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Parliament hill

Narendra Modi condemns ‘extremely disturbing’ Ottawa shootout

IANS New Delhi – Prime Minister Narendra Modi described Wednesday’s shootout near the Canadian parliament in Ottawa as “extremely disturbing”. “News of the attack in…
Continue Reading »

attack on Parliament Hill

Soldier, gunman who died in Ottawa rampage identified (w/photos, video) [updated]

ANDREW DUFFY OTTAWA CITIZEN Updates at 5:10 p.m. Soldier killed in War Memorial confirmed as Cpl. Nathan Cirillo Suspect, reportedly Canadian-born Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, killed in Centre Block shootout Police call situation…
Continue Reading »

Parliament gunman shot

Shaken Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims calling from scene of Parliament shooting (w/photos, video)

TOM ZYTARUK SURREY NOW OTTAWA — Surrey MPs Jasbir Sandhu, Jinny Sims and their New Democrat colleagues were in a party caucus meeting in Ottawa…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Vancouver-Surrey-Festival-India

Diwali celebrations in Vancouver and Surrey

DiwaliFest celebrates its 11th anniversary from Oct. 17 to 26 at various sites in Surrey and Vancouver. Diwali Celebration Friday, Oct. 24 at Firehall Centre…
Continue Reading »

Facebook photo showing Martin Rouleau

Canada is Losing the Values War

UJJAL DOSANJH SPECIAL TO VANCOUVER DESI The dreaded happened in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, a quiet historic town in Quebec. Many years ago I stayed there for a…
Continue Reading »

Butter Chicken

Light up Diwali with this delicious dinner: Butter Chicken, Basmati Rice with Peas, Chickpea Masala and Gulab Jamun

Indian festival is a fine reason for a feast BAL ARNESON POSTMEDIA NEWS Diwali is India’s biggest festival. People light candles and divas (small Indian…
Continue Reading »

INDIA-WILDLIFE-ELEPHANT

Heartbreaking photos of two elephants electrocuted in India

IANS Siliguri – Two elephants, including a female, were electrocuted in West Bengal’s Darjeeling district Saturday, an official said. The tuskers were found in a…
Continue Reading »

Aman Grewal

Gallery: Army officer’s wife wins Mrs. India Worldwide pageant

IANS New Delhi – Aman Grewal, wife of an army officer, was declared the winner of Haut.Monde Mrs.India Worldwide 2014 here. Grewal, who hails from…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Jackie Chan

First India-China joint venture film starring Jackie Chan launched

HINDUSTAN TIMES Chinese action star Jackie Chan will star in the first Sino-India joint film production slated to go on the floors in the coming…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Saif Ali Khan poses with pants down

IANS New Delhi – Actor-producer Saif Ali Khan was caught and clicked with his pants down while shooting for his new film “Happy Ending”. As…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood

Bollywood actress Alia Bhatt says ‘Going Home’ a special short film

IANS Mumbai – If the masses loved her in movies like “Highway” and “Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania”, Alia Bhatt has again won many a heart….
Continue Reading »