RAIPUR: Slain BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi, might have dared death publicly, by sharing his Tuesday itinerary in overconfidence that he would be with his ‘own people.’
“Mandavi revealed his plan to party workers, which could have possibly been leaked to Maoists,” Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallava said Wednesday.
Pallava said, “Mandavi was under Z-category security but proceeded with just two follow up vehicles with 15 of the 40 jawans assigned at 1.30pm. His decision to ignore the advisory resulted in his death.”
Mandavi and four jawans, including a driver were killed outright, when Maoists detonated a 50kg explosive device at Kuakonda, 460 km south of Raipur, at 3.48 pm on Tuesday.
The blast came, seconds after he called the police control room to say that he would take the Bacheli-Nakulnar route, though no Road Opening Party (ROP) was at hand.
Mandavi’s insistence on covering maximum voters ahead of polling day took him to a popular tribal fair at Shyamgiri.
Information of him taking the risky route and halting at Shyamgiri, was apparently leaked to Maoists who quickly assembled a strike squad, who detonated an IED blowing the bulletproof SUV to smithereens.
Maoist intelligence network, sourced through locals, is known to be far superior to that of security forces in the interiors of Bastar.
Eyewitnesses who tracked Mandavi’s last steps said, he reached Bacheli party office at around noon and left for Kirandul after interacting with the cadres. He called back at 3.10 to say no public meeting was possible as the designated campaign end time of 3 PM had lapsed.
Mandavi also informed Bacheli police station in-charge Sheel Aditya Singh at 3.50pm and was told to avoid the “risky’, route. Mandavi followed the same route and was returning to Nakulnar, when he was blown up.
Maoists target polling booth in Gadchiroli
MUMBAI: Maoists targeted a polling booth at Jambiagatta village in the Maoist-infested Gadchiroli district on Wednesday, seriously injuring a CRPF jawan with an IED blast.
The blast took place when security personnel of the 191st battalion were out to secure the area on the eve of the Lok Sabha polls, officials said. The jawan was evacuated by helicopter and is critical, said an official.
The blast comes in the neighbouring constituency of the minister of State for home Hansraj Ahir, who had been boasting of his efforts to control the Naxal activities in the district and limiting them to a small area.