A day after Maoists carried out a deadly assault on Lok Sabha MP Baliram Kashyap's family, Chhattisgarh politicians, especially legislators from the rebel-affected Bastar region, have sought enhanced security cover from the police.
Sources say a majority of MLAs of the restive Bastar region, that has 12 assembly seats of which 11 belong to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have cancelled their public engagements for the next few days. They have appealed to the district police authorities for their security cover to be increased.
On Saturday, Maoists stunned the political fraternity in the mineral-rich state when four cycle-borne cadres, described by a few eye-witnesses as minors, opened fire on Baliram Kashyap's two sons - Dinesh and Tansen - in full public view. Kashyap is the Bastar Lok Sabha MP and BJP tribal leader.
The 33-year-old Tansen succumbed to injuries in the attack which took place at a temple, 300 km from here, in Bastar district. The Maoists struck after another brother, Kedar Kashyap, a state cabinet minister, left the temple with his security guards.
"The attack on the Bastar MP's family has created a scare. I have spoken to senior police officers to strengthen my security because I am bound to attend several public functions everyday. As an MLA of the Maoist-hit region I always run a high security risk," a BJP MLA of Bastar region told IANS, requesting his name be withheld.
Bastar region is spread out over 40,000 sq km area and is considered the rebels bastion since the late 1980s.
Another BJP MLA of Bastar commented: "Soon after the report of the killing was flashed, I spoke to the police department. They advised me to be cautious while picking up locations and programmes to visit and avoid revealing the schedule to the local media."
In capital Raipur, police Sunday reviewed the security arrangements of VIPs and at important locations such as the MLA rest house, ministers' bungalows and key government buildings.
Meanwhile, police said they had "sealed off" Bastar district and launched a massive search to apprehend the attackers of the MP's family. However, they are yet to make any breakthrough.