2 senior Congress leaders among 17 people killed in the Maoist attack

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Two senior Congress leaders of Chhattisgarh were killed and many party workers feared dead in an hour long fierce Maoist attack on the Congress’ Parivartan Yatra in Jagdalpur district on Saturday evening. Senior Congress leader and former leader of opposition Mahendra Karma and former legislator Uday Mudliyar were killed on the spot in the firing when they reportedly came out of their vehicles

ollowing the gun-fight to surrender before the rebels.

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The incident took place when the convoy of Congress Party’s parivartan yatra was targeted near Darbha forested terrain in Jagdalpur about 340 km south of Raipur. This is one of the deadliest Maoist attacks in the country.

Survivors said that two Congress leaders were killed in the attack, however, it could not be independently confirmed by the police officials.

Many Congress workers were reportedly injured and some still missing after the attack.

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“Why was the same security not given to parivartan yatra that was available to ruling BJP’s vikas yatra? Adequate security was missing when the state administration knew well about the scheduled yatra,” said former chief minister of the state Ajit Jogi, who was part of the yatra earlier in the day.

The Congress workers in Raipur were enraged over the incident and demanded imposition of President’s rule in the state. They protested before the Raj Bhawan in support of their demand.

Karma was on the Maoist hit-list as he campaigned against the rebels and led the controversial Salwa Judum, now disbanded, in Bastar.

Unconfirmed report said as many as eight Congress leaders were seriously injured in naxal firing, which is perhaps the biggest attack on any political party so far in Chhattisgarh.

According to the injured Congressmen who were part of the convoy, the rebels fired indiscriminately on the convoy for over an hour and they expressed fear of several Congress leaders killed in the firing.

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Senior Congress leader and former leader of opposition Mahendra Karma

The seriously injured included veteran congress leader V C Shukla and legislator Kwasi Lakhma. Both were rushed to Jagdalapur based Maharani hospital. The rebels abducted the state Congress president Nand Kumar Patel and his son Dinesh Patel at gun-point, said the Congress party source.

This was the second biggest attack on the Congress Party in Chhattisgarh after July 2011 when the Maoists targeted three vehicles moving in the cavalcade led by Patel near Udanti in Gariyaband about 180 km from Raipur. There were thirty vehicles in the convoy and three Congressmen were killed. They were returning after attending a farmers’ meet.

ADG (intelligence) Mukesh Gupta has confirmed the Maoist attack.  “The attack took place near Darbha when the convoy was returning from Sukma”, he said.

There is no official confirmation about the casualties. Chief minister Raman Singh has called an emergency meeting at his residence. The CM strongly condemned the naxal attack and called-off his

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