BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi killed in Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh

BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi killed in Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh

Police said Maoists had blown up an improvised explosive device on the road when the Dantewada legislator Bhima Mandavi's convoy was passing through the district.

"All the killed security personnel are from District Reserve Group", an official told news agency IANS.

The BJP legislator Bheema Mandavi was returning after holding a public rally at Kirandul in Dantewada when the Naxalites targeted his convoy on the Kuakonda-Bacheli route and his bulletproof vehicle was tossed up in the air following the IED blast. "Reinforcement of CRPF has been rushed".

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

"According to our preliminary investigation, five people have died", said P. Sundar Raj, the state's police deputy inspector general for anti-Maoist operations. The killed security personnel have been identified as driver Danteshwar Maurya and District Force jawans Chhagan Kuldeep, Somdu Kawasi and Ramlal Oyami.

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Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has called a high-level meeting in Raipur.

Attacks on Indian forces by jungle-based Maoist units are frequent and often deadly in Chhattisgarh, a poor and restive state.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday "strongly" condemned the Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh, saying the sacrifice of those killed will not go in vain.

But this strike, less than 48 hours before voting begins in India's national poll, delivered a jolt to security as authorities prepare to hold the biggest election in history. "The sacrifices of these martyrs will not go in vain", Modi tweeted. "Shri Bhima Mandavi was a dedicated Karyakarta of the BJP", he said.

Five people have been killed after a Bharatiya Janta Party convoy was attacked in Chattisgarh's Dantewada by Naxals.

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