The anti-child labour activist and chairperson of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights Shantha Sinha had a narrow escape on Monday when Maoists attacked her convoy, injuring two police jawans near Kamanguda near Dhanora, some 250 kms from Nagpur in Gadchiroli district.
The incident occurred when the convoy, comprising Sinha, several senior government officials and the commission members were returning after interacting with tribals at Kamabguda village this afternoon. The other members in the team include: the tribal development commissioner, Sambhaji Sarkunde, additional tribal development commissioner Anshu Sinha, district collector Abhishek Krishna, the chief executive officer of the district Sumant Bhange, the commission members Deepa Dixit, SK Rao and Venkat Reddy.
A group of 20-25 armed naxalites reportedly attacked the party. After the naxalite firing, an encounter with the Maoists ensured for over 15 minutes, in which heavy exchange of firing witnessed in the area. The officials escaped unhurt but two police jawans, engaged for the protection of the team, sustained bullet injuries.
Viresh Prabhu, the superintendent of police (SP), Gadchiroli informed that both the injured jawans were admitted to the civil hospital of Gadchiroli.
Sinha and her team visited Kamangad village to interact with the parents, teachers and students of a closed Ashram school there. After interacting with the villagers, Sinha said that she would try and ensure that the students deprived of education due to closure of school get an alternative arrangement.
"The vehicles at the tail end of the convoy were attacked. The vehicle of Sinha, the commission members, and senior government officials had moved ahead. But vehicles of tehsildar and the block development officer and police jeeps tailing the convoy were caught in the surprise attack," informs a police officer.
The injured police jawans, members of elite C-60 anti-naxalite squad, were identified as: Raju Kando (28) and Supriyan Bada (30). They were reported to be out of danger, reports further said.