Maoists attack BJP convoy in Dantewada, MLA Bhima Mandavi among 6 killed

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The incident while raising a big question on the lack of timely intelligence inputs for the forces and lack of adequate security ensured for the MLA has also sent apprehension among the polling staff who was air-lifted to the hypersensitive polling station for the conduct of the first phase of election in Bastar on April 11.

Mandavi was the lone Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Bastar region which accounts for 12 Assembly seats.

Meanwhile, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has called a high level meeting.

Election Commission has said that election will go on as per schedule. Diligent and courageous, he assiduously served the people of Chhattisgarh.

Attacks on Indian forces by jungle-based Maoist units are frequent and often deadly in Chhattisgarh, a poor and restive state. "Om Shanti", Modi tweeted. "The sacrifices of these martyrs will not go in vain", Modi tweeted.

BJP President Amit Shah asserted that "such act of cowardice" will not deter them from fighting the ultra-Left insurgents.

The IED (improvised explosive device) blast triggered by Naxals hit the two-vehicle convoy as it passed the area near Shyamgiri hills, said officials.

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The state unit of the BJP also reacted angrily to the killing and alleged that state's new Congress regime has a nexus with the Maoists.

Former Chief Minister Raman Singh said, "I'm in contact with central ministers; spoke to PM an hour ago".

"His demise is deeply anguishing".

"According to our preliminary investigation, five people have died", said P. Sundar Raj, the state's police deputy inspector general for anti-Maoist operations.

Just 10 days before the Assembly elections previous year, naxals killed a cameraperson of DD News, Achyutanand Sahu, in an ambush in insurgency-hit Dantewada district.

Chhattisgarh will vote on 11, 18 and 23 April and Dantewada will vote on 11 April.

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