New Delhi, Oct 30 (PTI) The Congress Tuesday targeted the Centre and the Chhattisgarh government over the Naxal attack in the state, saying they are accountable for it and demanded Chief Minister Raman Singh’s resignation.
The Centre said that the cowardly attack would not be able to weaken its resolve in rooting out Naxalism and giving a befitting reply to them.
Condemning the attack, the Congress expressed its condolences and claimed people are determined to oust the Raman Singh government in the state in the coming elections.
While Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the attack in Dantewada district had saddened him, the party’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala paid tributes to the deceased and termed the BJP government in the state “incompetent and worthless”.
Two policemen were also injured in the attack near Nilawaya village, about 450 km from the state capital Raipur.
Raman Singh described the ambush as a cowardly act by Naxals who are against democracy and development and have acted out of desperation.
“The government has taken the incident very seriously. In the attack, one cameraman of Doordarshan and two policemen were killed. It was a very unfortunate and condemnable incident. I express my deep condolences to the families of the bereaved,” Home Minister Rajnath Singh told reporters here.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the government will respond to the attack in a befitting manner.
“Naxals in Chhattisgarh have shown their cowardice by killing policemen and a DD cameraman in Aranpur. Government is responding in a befitting manner against such desperation of Naxals at all levels. Attack on the police and the press in any manner is heinous,” Jaitley tweeted.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore also condemned the attack and said the insurgents won’t be able to weaken the government’s resolve.
Rathore announced financial assistance of Rs 15 lakh to the next of kin of the DD News cameraman.
He said that Rs 10 lakh would be given as ex gratia by Doordarshan and Rs 5 lakh would be from the Journalist Welfare Fund of the Press Information Bureau, according to an official statement.
“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. These insurgents will NOT weaken our resolve. We WILL prevail,” the minister tweeted.
“I express my sorrow and deep condolences to the families of the two policemen and Doordarshan cameraman killed in the attack,” Gandhi said on Twitter.
Surjewala said the people of Naxal-hit Chhattisgarh have made up their mind to oust the “incompetent and worthless government of Chief Minister Raman Singh”.
Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma described the attack as disturbing and said the BJP government in the state and the central government could have made elaborate arrangements ahead of elections in the state. Hitting out at the government, he cited Home Minister Rajnath Singh’s claim of having curbed Naxalism.
“The state and the central governments should have accountability for the attack,” he said.
CPI Secretary D Raja condemned the attack and asked the state and central governments to address the root cause of the problem.
“It is unfortunate that the media persons were attacked and got killed along with policemen. Violence should be condemned in any form. We urge the state and central governments to address the root cause of the problem,” he said.
SP leader Akhilesh Yadav also paid his tributes to the Doordarshan cameraman and the policemen.
The attack took place around 11 am in a forest area near Nilawaya village. The Maoists ambushed a squad of local police which was carrying out patrol duties on motorcycles from the Sameli camp towards Nilawaya, said Deputy Inspector General (anti-Naxal operations) Sundarraj P.
A three-member team of Doordarshan was travelling for election-related news coverage at the same time and was caught in the cross-fire, he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.