Naxals attack BJP convoy in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada, MLA Bheema Mandavi, 4 others killed

Naxals targeted a group of BJP leaders travelling in a convoy in Chhattisgarh on Tuesday. BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi, three police officers and a driver were killed in the attack.

A convoy of BJP leaders was attacked by Naxals in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada on Tuesday evening, killing five, including a BJP MLA on poll duty. The Naxals triggered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on the convoy, killing 3 policemen along with the BJP leader.

Dantewada BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi died in the attack when his vehicle, which was the last in the convoy was hit.

Three policemen and a driver were also been killed in the Naxal attack.

The IED blast was followed by a round of firing by the Naxals. The blast impact left a huge crater on the road.

"BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi killed in naxal attack in Dantewada," confirmed P Sundar Raj, DIG anti-Naxal operations.

The BJP convoy was travelling between Kuakonta and Shyamgiri in Dantewada when it was targeted by the Naxals. The state police escort vehicle accompanying Bheema Mandavi came under attack.

The explosion was so powerful that the bodies were flung almost 50 metres from the point where the IED was planted.

The deceased security personnel have been identified as driver Danteshwar Maurya and District Force jawans Chhagan Kuldeep, Somdu Kawasi and Ramlal Oyami.

BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi, who was killed in the Naxal attack on Tuesday.

A group of CRPF personnel had been rushed to the spot in Shyamgiri under Kuakonda Police Station in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has spoken to the DG anti-Naxal operations. A statement from his office is expected soon.

In a statement, CRPF said, "Between Kuakonta and Syamgiri in Dantewada, the convoy of BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi came under an IED attack today. The escort vehicle of State Police came under the blast. 5 personnel of Chhattisgarh State Police are critically injured. Reinforcement of CRPF has been rushed."

Just before the assembly elections in November, two policemen and a Doordarshan cameraman were killed not very far from Nakulnaar in Dantewada district in a similar Naxal attack. In another such incident at the same time, Nandlal Mudami, a district panchayat member was attacked by Maoists at his house in Palnaar village.

Dantewada falls in the Bastar Lok Sabha constituency, which will go to polls in the first phase on April 11.

For the elections on April 11, a security blanket of over 80,000 personnel, and drones, has been deputed in and around the Naxal-infested Bastar region.