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Congress chief, who was abducted by Naxals, found dead

The bullet-riddled bodies of Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel and his son Dinesh, who were kidnapped by Maoists, were today found along with those of eight others in Jiram valley in Bastar.

May 26, 2013 / 11:29 AM IST

Raipur: 10:55 am: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted: "We must not allow our democracy to be subverted by this bullying called left-wing extremism."

10:24 am: Chhattisgarh Congress chief spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi alleges conspiracy behind the Naxal attack on Saturday in which several party leaders were killed. "We are sad and I don't know how to express myself. I believe they have not provided him (Nand Kumar Patel) with proper security. I believe this is a conspiracy. When they had threats then they should have provided him with high security. They have given chance to Naxalites. This is negligence in his security," said Trivedi.

9:45 am: Congress leader Digvijaya Singh says, "Strongly condemn the Naxalite attack on Congress leaders. I have lost friends and colleagues with whom I have worked very closely."

9:30 am: BJP leader Sushma Swaraj tweets on Chhattisgarh Naxal attack: It is shocking and most unfortunate. We condemn this outright.

9:13 am: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh and four ministers reach Jagdalpur.

8:05 am: Eyewitnesses say a badly mutilated body found next to Nand Kumar Patel is that of his son, Dinesh, but there are no confirmed reports yet.

7:56 am: Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel's body found.

7:55 am: Police clarify there is no news of Nand Kumar Patel's abducted son, Dinesh.

Earlier there were reports that Dinesh was found hiding in a ditch in the dense forests of Jagdalpur district on Sunday morning. Nand Kumar Patel and his son Dinesh were believed to have been abducted by Naxals following an ambush on a convoy of Congress leaders in a dense forest in the district.

Sources said Nand Kumar was the main target of the ambush. On Saturday, the Naxals carried out one of the deadliest attacks in Chhattisgarh, killing at least 21 people including anti-Naxal movement Salwa Judum's founder Mahendra Karma and former Congress MLA Uday Mudliyar in Darba Ghati Valley.

"There was firing on moving vehicles. We could not even get out but since we were in the corner some of us got out. We hid there for about an hour and a half. We didn't know what to do because we were surrounded by so many Naxals," said an injured security personnel.

The attack targeting the Congress party convoy occurred during the Parivartan Yatra and most of those killed were party leaders and workers.

Dead body of Karma has been brought to Jagdalpur district hospital for postmortem. 16 other bodies of PSOs and Congress workers are also kept in Jagdalpur mortuary. Chief Minister Raman Singh may visit the hospital on Sunday where the injured are being treated. "This is not an attack on any political party but on our democracy. We will continue to serve the people of the state in the same way in which we have done for last 9 years," he said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is expected to reach Chhattisgarh by Sunday 11 am. He is likely to meet the Chief Minister and review security situation with him.

CRPF forces have been rushed to sanitise the attack site in Bastar. A judicial inquiry has been ordered and Congress has called for a state bandh.

Meanwhile, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi reached Raipur early Sunday morning and met the victims of the attack.

At least 30 others were injured including veteran Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla, MLA Kwasi Lakhma and prominent party worker Gopi Vadhwani, who were rushed to a hospital in Jagdalapur. The seriously injured were later shifted to a Raipur Hospital and later on Sunday morning Shukla was airlifted to Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon near Delhi. Shukla suffered three bullet injuries.

The heavily-armed Naxals, numbering several hundred, reportedly opened fire on the Parivartan Yatra when it reached near forested Darba Ghati area on way to Jagdalpur, the police said.

"The Naxals attacked the convoy in a cowardly fashion in Darbha Ghati where there was no security arrangement. Our leader Mahendra Karma asked them to kill him and spare the rest of them. But they did not listen to him and fired hundreds of bullets. Following this, they beat him with a gun and broke his head," said an eyewitness.

first published: May 26, 2013 11:29 am

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