BJP legislator, 4 guards killed in Maoist attack before Indian polls

Maoist terrorists in India killed a legislator and four security personnel in a bomb attack in Chhattisgarh state on Tuesday hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to wipe them out while addressing an election rally in neighbouring Maharashtra.

Bhima Mandavi, a lawmaker of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), and four security personnel were killed when extremists used improvised explosive devices to blow up the bullet-proof vehicle they were travelling in and started shooting them, police said.

The explosion left a sizeable crater in the road. It happened just two days before the start of India’s phased general elections and is seen as a clear warning to voters to boycott the polls.

The attack occurred at Shyamagiri hills in Dantewada region as the legislator’s convoy was heading towards Kuwakonda from Bacheli.

Dantewada, which comes under Bastar constituency, goes to polls on April 11.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel called an emergency meeting to discuss the security situation in the state following the incident.

Condemning the attack, Modi said the “sacrifices of these martyrs will not go in vain.”

Mandavi was a dedicated and courageous leader who served the people of Chhattisgarh, Modi said, adding that his demise is deeply anguishing.

In May 2013, 27 people, including Congress leader Mahendra Karma and former federal minister V C Shukla, were killed in a Maoist ambush.

In March last year, nine police personnel were killed when Maoist terrorists ambushed them in Chhattisgarh’s restive Sukma district.

In October, a TV journalist and two police personnel were killed in a Maoist ambush in the Aranpur sector of Dantewada district.

A month later, a security personnel and three civilians were killed in Dantewada when Maoists blew up a bus using improvised explosive device.