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1-min read

Congress leaders' route changed to go through Naxal stronghold

The convoy did not go through Gadiras but opted to take the Tongpal, Darba Ghati route after leaving Sukma.

IBN7

Updated:May 27, 2013, 12:49 PM IST
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Congress leaders' route changed to go through Naxal stronghold
The convoy did not go through Gadiras but opted to take the Tongpal, Darba Ghati route after leaving Sukma.
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Raipur: Rattled by the brutal Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh on Saturday evening in which 24 people including several Congress leaders were killed, the police now suspect that the route to be taken by the convoy was changed at the last minute on the advice of an informer. Killed Chhattisgarh President Nand Kumar Patel, former central minister Vidya Charan Shukla and Salwa Judum founder Mahendra Karma had initially planned to take another route from Sukma to Jagdalpur.

Earlier they had planned to go to from Sukma to Dantewada via Gadiras. But the route was changed on the advice of a local leader of Dantewada, police sources said.

Police officials are trying to find put why the route was changed and the convoy went to Darba Ghati which is known to a Naxal stronghold. The convoy finally decided to not go through Gadiras but instead opted to take the Tongpal, Darba Ghati route after leaving Sukma.

A large group of heavily armed Naxals had targeted the Congress convoy during the Parivartan Yatra in Darba Ghati on Saturday afternoon and almost wiped out the state party leadership. Among those killed were Patel, his son Dinesh, Karma, former Congress MLA Uday Mudliyar and two other people. The killed included several other Congress leaders and security personnel accompanying the convoy.

At least 30 others were injured including veteran Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla, MLA Kwasi Lakhma and prominent party worker Gopi Vadhwani, who were rushed to a hospital in Jagdalapur. The seriously injured were later shifted to a Raipur Hospital and later on Sunday morning Shukla was airlifted to Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon near Delhi. Shukla suffered three bullet injuries.

The heavily-armed Naxals, numbering several hundred, reportedly opened fire on the Parivartan Yatra when it reached near forested Darba Ghati area on way to Jagdalpur, the police said.

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