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Maoists attack Chhattisgarh MLA's convoy, three killed

Chhattisgarh,Terrorism, Fri, 20 Apr 2012 IANS

Raipur, April 20 (IANS) In a deadly attack on the convoy of a legislator of Chhattisgarh's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Maoist rebels Friday triggered a powerful landmine blast in the troubled Bastar region killing three people, police said.


The Maoists blew up one of the eight vehicles of the convoy in a forested area Pegrapalli in Bijapur district, some 500 km south from here. Two senior district unit leaders of the BJP and the driver of their vehicle were killed on the spot.


"Bijapur legislator Mahesh Gagda and Bijapur district collector Rajat Kumar who were travelling in the convoy are safe though the Maoists seem to have triggered the blast to target them," Ramniwas, additional director general of police (Maoist operation), told IANS.


He said the Maoist guerrillas blew up the Innova vehicle in which four people were seated. Those killed were Purshotam Thakur - the BJP district unit vice president, Mahesh Pujari who is said to be another key local BJP leader and Ashwani Sharma, the vehicle driver. One person is also reported to be seriously injured in the attack.


The blast which took place on a bridge on the Bhopalpattanam-Bijapur road, tossed up the vehicle several feet in the air and it landed in pieces.


The convoy was returning after interacting with villagers from a remote forested area as part of the BJP government's ongoing mega-rural drive "Gram Suraj" under which government officials and people's representatives hold meetings with rural residents to assess the performance of the government's welfare schemes.


Chief Minister Raman Singh condemned the incident calling it an "inhuman act" while officials here at the police headquarters admit the attack was a "serious lapse in security arrangements".


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