Media person Achyutananda Sahu was not killed intentionally, claim Maoists

New Delhi: Three days after killing Odia Doordarshan cameraman Achyutananda Sahu and three police personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district, Maoists today claimed responsibility for the attack and said their intention was not to target media, but the cameraman was caught in the cross fire.

In a statement, purportedly issued by the group, the naxals also asked media persons not to be escorted by police while visiting the conflict zone.

“On October 30, the Doordarshan team was caught in the ambush near Nilawaya village. It is sad that camera-person Achyutanand Sahu was killed in the attack. We had no intention to target media personnel,” the CPI (Maoist) said.

The two-page statement was issued in the name of Sainath, secretary of the Darbha division committee of Maoists, which has allegedly been instrumental in executing several deadly attacks in south Bastar, including the Jhiram valley massacre in Bastar district on May 25, 2013, in which top Congress leaders were killed.

The Maoists alleged in the statement that police was forcibly carrying out road construction work between Aranpur and Burgum (Dantewada), although it was opposed by local villagers.

The ultras have also called for a boycott of the upcoming Assembly polls in Chhattisgarh.

On October 30, Maoists attacked a police patrolling party accompanying a three-member team of national broadcaster Doordarshan for election-related coverage, near Nilawaya village under the Aranapur police station limits of Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.

Sub Inspector Rudra Pratap Singh, assistant constable Manglu and the cameraperson of Doordarshan Achyutanand Sahu, a native of Bolangir district of Odisha, were killed on the spot.

Two policemen were injured. One of them, Assistant Constable Rakesh Kaushal, died at a private hospital here on Wednesday morning.

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