Raipur: Two police personnel and a Doordarshan cameraman were killed in a Maoist attack in poll-bound Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district on Tuesday, police said.
Two police personnel were also injured in the incident, which took place in Nilawaya village under the Aranpur police station. The deceased were ASI Rudra Pratap, constable Manglu and cameraman of Doordarshan Acchutanand Sahu.
“I saw my colleague fall in front of me,” says Dheeraj Kumar, a 37-year old journalist who survived in the Maoist attack near Sameli in Dantewada on Tuesday morning.
Dheeraj Kumar, who hails from Begsurai district of Bihar and works for Doordarshan, was on heading for coverage towards Nilwaya about 5 km from CRPF camp of Sameli.
“We were planning to cover a newly-built polling station in Nilwaya where people haven’t voted since 1998,” said Dheeraj.
The CRPF, which received an SOS message, rushed troops for reinforcement and evacuation.
We are trying to find out what were they covering (reporters). The true face of the Maoists is coming out. We will investigate the matter. We all need to fight this together.
Deputy Inspector General P Sundarraj said that the attack exposes the “true face of Naxals”.
Union Information and Broadcasting minister Rajyavardhan Rathore also condemned the killing.
“We stand in solidarity with the family of the cameraman… We will take care of his family. We salute all those media persons who go for coverage in such dangerous situations and remember their bravery,” the minister said.
In tweets condoling the deaths, Prasar Bharati later said the public broadcaster had deployed a camera team for election coverage including cameraman Achyuta Nanda Sahu, reporter Dhiraj Kumar and light assistant Mormukt Sharma. The team came under attack by Maoists this forenoon near Dantewada.
Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh will be held in two phases on12 and 20 November.