Dantewada killings: Maoists say not going after media; ‘targeted ambush, say police
Three days after a Doordarshan cameraman and two policemen were killed in Dantewada district of poll-bound Chhattistgarh, Maoists released a statement saying they had no intention of targeting media and police responded by calling it a ‘targeted media ambush’, reports ANI.
The three-member Doordarshan team was in Bastar for election coverage and heading for reporting on a new polling booth in Nilawaya near Sumeli camp when they came under attack.
“DD Cameraman Achutyanand Sahu was killed after being caught in the ambush and we had no intention of targeting the media,” the statement said.
However, Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallav dismissed the Maoist statement and said, “Why was camera looted? Because it had recorded evidence of what happened in the first few minutes of targeted media ambush. Multiple bullet wounds and skull fractures on the martyred cameraman in no ways indicates it was by mistake.”
The DD team was accompanied by security personnel on half a dozen motorcycles, the most favoured vehicle to commute in the Maoist heartland where cars and vans are often known to be blown up in the scores of landmines planted by the rebels.
“At around 10.25 am, I saw the motorcycle which was heading our group, suddenly fall down. My cameraman, who was just behind the first motorcycle, was hit by a bullet and he fell down in front of my eyes. Our motorcycle also lost balance ... Luckily, I fell in a ditch and crawled deeper,” said Dheeraj Kumar, who survived the attack.
Chhattisgarh goes to polls in two phases, on November 12 and 20.