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Eyewitnesses recount the horror of Naxal attack

The Naxals were reportedly carrying laptops, tablets, bottled mineral water and other expensive equipments.


Updated:May 27, 2013, 4:25 PM IST
Eyewitnesses recount the horror of Naxal attack
The Naxals were reportedly carrying laptops, tablets, bottled mineral water and other expensive equipments.

Raipur: Survivors of the Naxal attack at Debra Ghati in Chhattisgarh on Saturday say that rebels were carrying laptops, tablets, bottled mineral water and other expensive equipments. The Naxals even gave water to all the hostages after the carnage. They also say that the attackers were conversing in English and all of them seemed to be educated.

According to one of the eyewitnesses Sandeep Dave after having lunch slain state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel asked the activists to leave. "After half an hour we reached Darba Ghati. It was 4 pm and suddenly we came under heavy fire from all the sides. I was in the vehicle behind Nand Kumar Patel's car. The attackers kept on firing for over two hours on the cars which left many people dead and injured. Many of our colleagues died in the firing.  After the firing stopped the Naxals came looking for survivors. They asked the survivors to reveal their identity and also verbally abused us. They also asked for Nand Kumar Patel and Mahendra Karma. They were killing us and also raining anti-Congress and BJP slogans. In Bijapur we had police protection but this time we didn't get it. Even though Darba police station was just a few kilometers away but the force took several hours to reach the attack site," said Dave.

Another eyewitness Shafiq Khan said that as soon the convoy entered Darba Ghati it came under fire from the Naxal. "The road was blocked with fallen trees. The shots were fired at tyres and fuel tanks. After the firing stopped, the Naxals asked us to surrender. They asked Mahender Karma to surrender and told him that he was going to be killed. They tok him away and then shot him dead," said Khan.

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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