BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi and four security personnel were killed when Maoists triggered an IED blast that hit the convoy of the legislator on Tuesday, saidÂ P Sundar Raj, DIG-anti-Maoist operations.Â The incident occurred at Shyamgiri hills when the MLA's convoy was heading towards Kuwakonda from Bacheli area. The Maoists blew up a vehicle in the convoy with an IED and opened fire at the occupant. Security forces have been rushed to the area,Â police officials said.Â
#SpotVisuals: Convoy of BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi attacked by Naxals in Dantewada. The escort vehicle of Chhattisgarh State Police also came under the blast. 5 personnel of Chhattisgarh State Police are critically injured. pic.twitter.com/ZastP8hrQeâ€” ANI (@ANI) April 9, 2019
#SpotVisuals: BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi killed in naxal attack in Dantewada. According to CRPF, the escort vehicle of Chhattisgarh State Police also came under the blast. 5 personnel of Chhattisgarh State Police are critically injured. pic.twitter.com/EdJMiQgjepâ€” ANI (@ANI) April 9, 2019
Dantewada falls in the Bastar Lok Sabha seat which will go to polls in the first phase on April 11. Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has called a high level meeting.
"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," Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted.
"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," he added.
"We have information of BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi, his driver and 3 PSOs getting killed in the IED blast in Dantewada today evening. It was a powerful IED blast. Bodies will be evacuated at the earliest for identification," addd the DIG.
Mandavi won the assembly elections, held in November, by more than 2,000 votes against Congress's candidate Devati Karma.
The attack is reminiscent of a similar incident that took place in the Maoist hotbed of Bastar ahead of the assembly elections in May 2013. Twenty-seven people, including senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma and former Union minister V C Shukla, were killed in the ambush.
Before the assembly elections in November last year, a CISF personnel and three civilians were killed in Dantewada when an improvised explosive device planted by Maoists tore through a bus.
(With PTI inputs)