Even as CPI Maoists Dandkaranya Special Zonal Committee has claimed responsibility for the barbaric attack on state Congress leaders’ convoy that killed at least 24 people, including senior leaders Mahendra Karma and State Congress chief Nandkumar Patel on May 27, heads rolled in Chhattisgarh administration on Tuesday night. The state government suspended Bastar district SP Mayank Shrivastava and shunted out Bastar range IG Himangshu Gupta and Collector P Anabalagan. “It has also been decided by the government that DGP Ramniwas will now look after the VIP security himself, assisted by an IG and a DIG,” PR Secretary Aman Singh said.
Chhattisgarh government has already ordered a judicial probe into the incident. The state government has come under fire for security lapses that had led to the Naxal attack.
Around 300 ultras had ambushed the convoy that was returning from a Parivartan Yatra near Darbha Ghat in Jagdalpur district. Spokesperson of DSZC Gudsa Usendi said, in a statement issued late Monday night, that Salwa Judum founder Mahendra Karma, former Union Minister VC Shukla and Nandkumar Patel were the main target of attack because of their oppressive regime against poor people of Chhattisgarh.
“The purpose of attack was to punish Mahendra Karma who had launched the anti-Naxal armed movement Salwa Judum and some other Congress leaders involved in tribal’s oppression,” he said. “Through this attack, we have taken revenge on behalf of people,” he said.
Usendi accused PCC chief Nandkumar Patel of being responsible for deployment of central security force in Bastar and VC Shukla of playing a key role in atrocities against poor people of Chhattisgarh.
The statement came just hours before Union Home Secretary RK Singh landed in Raipur along with senior security and intelligence officials to assess the ground situation in the wake of the Saturday attack. Although, Singh called for intense naxal offensive in the affected region, the Maoists spokesperson in his letter demanded withdrawal of operation green hunt and central paramilitary forces deployed in Naxal affected areas.
Meanwhile, the Congress demanded that Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh should resign for the security lapse and blamed the “crony capitalists” for funding the Naxals in the state to protect their interests.
The BJP, however, accused the Congress of playing petty politics.