Reiterating that violence had no place whatsoever in India’s democratic polity, Mukherjee said: “I condemn this incident in the strongest of terms. The nation will neither be overawed nor intimidated by such action.”
The President also called upon the authorities to do their utmost to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice. In Raipur, the Prime Minister asserted that the country will never bow before Naxalism, while addressing Congress workers at the party office.
“We will pursue the perpetrators of this crime with urgency and I can assure the nation that the government is committed to bringing them to justice,” he said, referring to the sacrifices made by the party leaders in the past. The Prime Minister also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh each from the National Relief Fund for the families of those killed and `50,000 each for those injured. He also reviewed the security situation in Chhatisgarh with Chief Minister Raman Singh and state government officials, when he offered all possible help in dealing with the Naxal problem while asking for the best medical treatment to the injured from the state administration.
Accompanied by the Prime Minister, Sonia Gandhi visited those injured in the attack at a hospital and appreciated the courage and bravery of the party leaders, who faced the Maoist strike. But the visit of the two leaders to Jagdalpur was cancelled due to security reasons, Congress sources said.
Rahul Gandhi, who arrived in the state ahead of the PM and the Congress chief in the wee hours on Sunday, said: “It is not an attack on Congress. It is an attack on democracy. We will not fear such an attack and continue to move forward.”
Asked about imposition of President’s rule in the state, Rahul said, “It is not time to do politics here. It is a very sad incident and we all have to stand together.”
Meanwhile, a seriously injured V C Shukla was airlifted from Raipur to a private hospital at Gurgaon on the outskirts of the national capital. Doctors attending on the 84-year-old former Union minister said his condition was critical. Shukla had undergone a surgery on Saturday for removing three bullets he had taken in the Maoist attack.