BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi and four others were killed on Tuesday after his convoy was attacked by Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada.
The attack comes just two days ahead of the first phase of polling for Lok Sabha elections in the state.
The incident occurred around 400 km south of Raipur district when the lone BJP legislator was returning from Shyamgiri village under Kuakonda police station limits of Dantewada and was about 4 km away from the police station when the incident happened.
The Maoists blew up a vehicle in the convoy with an IED and opened fire at the occupants. The MLA and four security personnel were killed in the attack, police officials said.
“As per preliminary information BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi, his driver and three PSO (Personal Security Officers) have been killed in the IED Blast. SP Dantewada has reached the incident spot and we have also launched a search operation in the adjacent forest.” DIG Naxal operations, Sundar Raj, confirmed, adding after the blast a gunfight also happened for a brief period.
Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who was schedule to address a public meeting at Daunde village in Bilaspur district, cancelled the programme after the incident and returned to state capital Raipur and called a meeting of top police officials.
Meanwhile, police claimed that the BJP MLA was briefed a day back that the route he was taking was not safe.
“IED of about 50 to 60 kg would have been used in the blast,” Abhishek Pallav, Dantewada Superintendent of Police, told reporters at the spot. According to the SP the road was sanitised about a week back.
Dantewada falls in the Bastar Lok Sabha seat which will go to polls in the first phase on April 11.
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