Naxalite attack: 2 Congress leaders massacred, Rahul Gandhi reaches Chhattisgarh
Raipur: In a Congress led Parivartan Rally, about 1200 heavily armed Maoists detonated a bomb and then opened fire around 3pm on Saturday. The rally had started last month but they had steadily moved in to the interior areas, known to be Maoist strong point. They have shot dead senior leader Mahendra Karma and pumped three bullets in to former Union minister V C Shukla. His condition is unknown.
The attack happened in Chhattisgarh's Jagdalpur district. There are also several reports that PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel and his son have been kidnapped.
Reports are coming in that hundreds armed to the teeth Maoists opened fire with the help of about several sympathetic villagers. According to the Union Home Ministry, the attackers have killed 17 people and injured 20. Udya Mudaliyar, former Congress MLA, has been shot dead.
It has also been learnt that Mahendra Karma, former Home Minister who spearheaded the infamous 'Salwa Judum' operation, was the primary target of Maoist ire.
The entire area was destroyed as bombs and bullets unleashed carnage on unsuspecting victims.
2315: Sources say more than 600 paramilitary forces are being rushed to Jagdalpur district, Chhattisgarh. Also, Rahul Gandhi and BK Hariprasad, who is Congress in-charge for Chhattisgarh have left for Chhattisgarh.
2330: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has made an appeal to attackers to release all those they have kidnapped in Chhattisgarh. Raman Singh speaks to PM Manmohan Singh.
2345: Narendra Modi tweets- Gruesome attack in Chhattisgarh is an attack on democracy. Time has come to adopt policy of Zero Tolerance towards Terrorism and Naxalism.
Condolences to families of deceased and respects to policemen who laid down their lives. My prayers with the injured. May they recover quickly.
The need of the hour is to stand together as a nation and vow to fight this menace that threatens our democracy.
2350: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh makes a statement- I very strongly condemn the violent on Congress leaders and workers in Chhattisgarh today.
0000: Urged him (Raman Singh) to provide all possible assistance to injured and to ensure the security and safety of those who have been abducted: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
0005: Umesh Patel, son of Congress leader Nand Kumar Patel, appeals to Maoists. "I appeal to the Maoists to release my father and brother".
0020: Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, talks to media about the deadly attack. Says, "It is an attack on democracy".
0100: Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi to visit Chhattisgarh today.
0115: Rahul Gandhi lands at Raipur, Chhattisgarh at 1:15am via a special airplane. He will be meeting the injured.
Sonia Gandhi's reaction
Strongly condemning the attack in Jagdalpur district, Chattisgarh by Maoists, Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, stepped out to give a brief address.
"We are all astounded, shocked and pained by what has happened. A terrible incident has happened in Bastar. We hope that our PCC president and his son are not kidnapped. We do not have confirmed reports yet," said Sonai Gandhi. She also asked Congress party members to help in any way they can. Senior Congress leader V C Shukla has been hit by three bullets but his condition is unknown.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh calls an emergency meeting
The Prime Minister has talked to Raman Singh, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, to ask him whether the State requires Central government assistance. He has also called an emergency meeting to take stock of the situation.
Former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Ajit Jogi asks for State Bandh tomorrow.
BJP President Rajnath Singh says that all parties should work together and not politicise this tragic event.