Dantewada Superintendent of police Abhishek Pallav. (ANI)
Dantewada Superintendent of police Abhishek Pallav on Tuesday broke down after two policemen and a cameraperson of Doordarshan were killed and two others were injured in a Maoist attack in poll-bound the Chhattisgarh district.
The incident took place in a forest area near Nilawaya village around 11 am when the Maoists ambushed a squad of local police which was carrying out patrolling on motor cycles from Sameli camp towards Nilawaya, deputy inspector general (anti-naxal operations) Sundarraj said.While explaining the ordeal, Pallav turned emotional.
"For the past 15 days, media persons were coming to remote villages to report problems of locals, ahead of the polls. Agitated by this, Naxals attacked them," he added.
"The Naxals took the camera of one of the media persons and dragged the other two. My constable fought the Naxals else two more media persons could have been harmed," Pallav said.
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#WATCH:Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallav breaks down while talking about death of 2 police personnel&DD cameraman in Naxal attack,"Naxals took camera of one of the media persons & dragged other two. My constable fought the Naxals else 2 more media persons could've been harmed." pic.twitter.com/XF74PcjnMq— ANI (@ANI) October 30, 2018
A three-member team of Doordarshan was travelling for election-related news coverage when it was caught in the cross-fire. Sub inspector Rudra Pratap Singh, assistant constable Mangalu and DD News Cameraman Achyutanand Sahu were killed in the attack, Sundarraj said.Sahu had come from New Delhi for the election coverage.
Other two members of the DD team, including a journalist, were safe, the officer said. Constable Vishnu Netam and assistant constable Rakesh Kaushal sustained injuries in the gunfight, he added.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore condemned the attack and said the insurgents won't be able to weaken the government resolve.
"Strongly condemn the Naxal attack on @DDNewsLive crew in Dantewada. Deeply saddened by the demise of our cameramanAchyuta Nanda Sahu and two jawans of @crpfindia. Theseinsurgents will NOT weaken our resolve. We WILL prevail," theminister tweeted.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ram Singh said: “Naxals never stop from executing their act of cowardice. As soon as elections approach, they do something to affect them. Their goal is to spread terror but we won't to be scared.”
Special director general of police (Anti-Naxal operations) DM Awasthi said the attack was not related to the upcoming elections.
“Today's ambush was to target the road construction work in Dantewada's Aranpur. Naxals had warned against causing harm if the road construction work continued. More anti-Naxal operations will be conducted in the coming days,” Awasthi added.
The assembly election will be held in Chhattisgarh in two phases - November 12 and November 20. The Maoist-affected districts of southern Chhattisgarh will vote in the first phase of polling.
(With agency inputs)