New Delhi: The toll in the gruesome Naxal attack has now reached 28, with several injured. Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde has said the probe will be handed over to National Investigation Agency.
Congress leader VC Shukla, who is 84-year-old and was shot during the attack, is still critical and is being treated at a hospital in Gurgaon.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress President Sonia Gandhi visited Shukla, soon after coming back from Chhattisgarh. The two leaders inquired about Shukla's health from the hospital staff and his family members.
The condition of senior Congress leader was critical, according to doctors treating him at the Medanta hospital on outskirts of Delhi where he was admitted after being airlifted from Raipur on Sunday morning. The 84-year-old former union minister underwent an operation in Jagdalpur hospital for removal of three bullets he had received in the attack.
BJP leader LK Advani, Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and All India Anti-Terrorist Front (AIATF) leader MS Bitta also visited the hospital. "I went to the ICU and all parameters indicate that there is stability (in Shukla's condition). I felt relieved after seeing him," Advani told reporters outside the hospital.
"Every political party and leader must criticise the gruesome incident," he said, adding that he has taken up the issue of Naxal violence with the Prime Minister. "This is one of the most audicious attacks that have taken place in recent times. And I spoke to the Prime Minister also and requested him that concerted efforts should be made to combat and overcome this menace," Advani said. Heavily-armed Maoists ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in Chhattisgarh's Bastar district on Saturday, killing 27 people including senior Congress leader Mahendra Karma, Congress state president Nand Kumar Patel and injuring Shukla and 31 others.
(With Additional Inputs From PTI)