BJP MLA and five policemen killed in bomb blast

BJP MLA and five policemen killed in bomb blast

BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi was returning from campaigning when the escort vehicle of the state police was targetted with the IED.

"Strongly condemn the Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh".

According to police, BJP MLA from Dantewada Bheema Mandavi and four personnel of District Force (DF), deployed in security of the MLA, were killed in the powerful IED blast executed by ultras.

The incident occurred at Shyamagiri hills when the MLA's convoy was heading towards Kuwakonda from Bacheli area, which is about 450 km from State capital Raipur. Apart from Mandavi, five security personnel also lost their lives.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the attack, calling Mandavi courageous and diligent, and adding that his demise was "deeply anguishing". "The sacrifices of these martyrs will not go in vain", Modi tweeted.

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"Shri Bhima Mandavi was a dedicated Karyakarta of the BJP".

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel cancelled his election meetings and rushed to his office for a meeting with senior police and intelligence officers after the attack. While Dantewada votes on April 18, Bastar - another Naxal-infested area - will vote on April 11. "I pray to God to give peace and strength to the soul of the departed soul and the family".

As per reports five policemen have been killed in the attack.

The attack bears similarity to the one that took place in the Naxal hotbed of Bastar just ahead of the assembly elections in May 2013. He became a legislator for the first time by defeating rival Manish Kunjam (CPI), and thereby relegating Congress veteran and former leader of Opposition Mahendra Karma to a third position in 2009, reported The Times of India.

Ahead of the assembly elections in November a year ago, a CISF personnel and three civilians were killed in Dantewada when an IED planted by Naxals tore through a bus.

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