Maoists attack DD centre in Bastar, 3 cops killed

FPFirst attack on a media centre by Naxals in the district

In the first attack by them on a national media centre in Bastar, and probably anywhere in the country, Maoists struck at a Doordarshan Kendra late Saturday night, killing three cops and leaving one policeman of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force injured.

The attack came three months after CPI (Maoist) cadres killed a journalist in Sukma. They had apologised following the murder of Nemichand Jain, and said their top leaders were probing the case and would punish the junior cadres responsible.

The attack on the DD Kendra came around 2 am, when a group of Maoists entered the relay centre in Telimarenga, nearly 10 km from district headquarters in Jagdalpur in Bastar district, and opened fire. While policeman Majhar Khan was guarding the gate, others were sleeping in their room.

The deceased, all belonging to Chhattisgarh, were Silbani Ekka, Alexander Lakda and Basudev Sahu. Khan, who was injured in the attack, has been referred to a Raipur hospital. Bastar IG Himanshu Gupta said that security of the relay centre has been enhanced.

Apart from being a rare attack on a media organisation, this was also the first instance in the last several months of Maoists managing to launch an attack in a city area in the state. The attacks have seen a spurt since Chief Minister Raman Singh began his Vikas Yatra last week, with Maoists regularly targeting policemen.

"This confirms the armed presence of Maoist in cities," DGP Ramniwas said.

In another attack in the state, Maoists killed policeman Samay Lal Kanwar in the Temelwada region of Sukma district on Sunday.

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