Video journalist Achyutanand Sahu from state broadcaster Doordarshan and two police officers were killed in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district in a Maoist attack on Tuesday. The incident occurred in the district’s Aranpur area, ANI reported.
The state police said two Maoists were possibly killed in the exchange of fire that followed, PTI reported.
“Today our patrolling party was ambushed by Naxals in Aranpur,” Deputy Inspector General of Police P Sundar Raj told ANI. “Two of our personnel were martyred, and a DD cameraman was also injured and later succumbed. Two more personnel injured.”
Sundar Raj identified the dead police officers as Sub-Inspector Rudra Pratap and Assistant Constable Mangalu, PTI reported. The injured personnel, Constable Vishnu Netam and Assistant Constable Rakesh Kaushal, were taken to a Dantewada hospital for treatment.
Additional Superintendent of Police GN Baghel told Scroll.in that the attack took place around 10.30 am close to Nilawaya village. The patrol party, comprising Sahu and 10 police personnel, was on a search operation and had no prior information about the movement of Naxals in the area, said Baghel.
Special Director General of Police DM Awasthi said the Maoists wanted to thwart road construction work in Dantewada’s Aranpur. “Naxalites had threatened to attack if the road construction work continued,” Awasthi said. “More anti-Naxalite operations will be conducted in the coming days.”
The special director general of police said around 10 improvised explosive devices were found and defused at the site, ANI reported.
An unidentified Chhattisgarh-based journalist said Sahu was part of a three-member Doordarshan team making a film on development in the state. The other two journalists, including one from Delhi, are safe, PTI reported.
An unidentified senior official said that a security squad from the Central Reserve Police Force’s 111 battalion has been sent to the spot.
The state is scheduled to go to the polls in two phases on November 12 and November 20.