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

CIVIC ELECTIONS

A new mayor is coming to Surrey, but don’t forget about councillors

SFU prof stresses importance of electing councillors who will push for the Surrey you want AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — With incumbent Mayor Dianne…
Continue Reading »

img_3338

Salaam Bombay: Gluten free Indian cuisine

SAMANTHA MCLEOD THE PROVINCE  Salam Bombay: Salaam to the classiest and cleanest side of Bombay, right here in Vancouver! You know when you’re watching an Indian movie…
Continue Reading »

CBC-sexual behaviour-lawsuit

Jian Ghomeshi bails on Prince George appearance on Nov. 7

THE CANADIAN PRESS PRINCE GEORGE — Embattled former “Q” radio host Jian Ghomeshi has pulled out of a speaking engagement organized by the Prince George…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

Today in History – Nov. 15

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Nov. 15: On this date: In 1280, German theologian and music theorist Albertus Magnus died. Magnus taught…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Nov. 13

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Nov. 13: On this date: In 354, African theologian Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, was born in Numidia,…
Continue Reading »

Today in History – Nov. 12

Advance THE CANADIAN PRESS Today in History for Nov. 12: On this date: In 1774, British citizens in Quebec protested the Quebec Act which restored…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

health check

Parents of six-year-old girl ‘horrified’ after botched vaccination exposes her to HIV

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI A six-year-old girl is in danger of having contacted HIV after a routine vaccination went awry in Fort St. James earlier…
Continue Reading »

ghost marriage

11 held for digging women’s graves for ‘ghost marriages’

IANS/EFE Beijing – Chinese police have arrested 11 people for allegedly digging up dead women’s bodies from their graves to sell them for rituals known…
Continue Reading »

Jian Ghomeshi

‘Big Ears Teddy’ Twitter account posted Jian Ghomeshi abuse allegations six months ago

ISHMAEL N. DARO CANADA.COM In less than a week, Jian Ghomeshi has gone from one of the most well-known and beloved CBC personalities to an…
Continue Reading »

CIVIC ELECTIONS

Battleground Surrey: Which mayoral candidate can stop the carnage?

CASSIDY OLIVIER VANCOUVER DESI The streets leading to the Newton Arena are littered with debris from the previous night’s storm. Overflow from the downpour swiftly…
Continue Reading »

Smart 21 communities

Surrey named among World’s Smart21 Communities of 2015

VANCOUVER DESI SURREY, B.C. – The Intelligent Community Forum has named the City of Surrey as one of the world’s Smart21 Communities of 2015. As one…
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Bollywood movie Fireflies

Fireflies: Sincerely done; good looking film

SUBHASH K. JHA IANS  Film: “Fireflies”; Cast: Rahul Khanna, Arjun Mathur, Monica Dogra, Shivani Ghai, Aadya Bedi; Writer-Director: Sabal Singh Shekhawat; Rating: *** 1/2 Things…
Continue Reading »

Ismaili musicians - Aga Khan foundation

Salim-Sulaiman show underlines Vancouver’s rising Bollywood cachet

LARISSA CAHUTE VANCOUVER DESI With big-time Bollywood composers Salim-Sulaiman set to kick off their North American tour at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre on Saturday, it…
Continue Reading »

Shah Rukh Khan

Burdwan blast: Shah Rukh Khan prays for better times for Bengal

IANS Kolkata – Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, West Bengal’s brand ambassador, Wednesday expressed his unwillingness to talk about the terror blast in Burdwan, but…
Continue Reading »