Naxal attack: Chhattisgarh Congress chief, son found dead, death toll 27

Chhattisgarh Congress Committee chief Nand Kumar Patel, who was allegedly kidnapped by the Naxals, was found dead in a jungle near Darba Gati Valley near Jagdalpur on Sunday.

Zee Media Bureau

Raipur: A day after Chhattisgarh Congress Committee chief Nand Kumar Patel and his son Dinesh were kidnapped by Naxals, their dead bodies were found in Jiram valley, Bastar on Sunday.

The bullet-riddled bodies of the father son-duo were today found along with those of eight others in Jiram valley in Bastar.

The Maoists had kidnapped Patel and his son Dinesh after attacking the convoy of Congress leaders yesterday.

With the recovery of the bodies, the toll in the lethal Maoist attack on a convoy of Congress leaders, has climbed to 27, police sources said.

Meanwhile, heavy rains in the area are hampering the operations undertaken by the security forces.

In an unprecedented attack, Naxals on Saturday targeted a convoy of Congress leaders in Bastar district yesterday, killing the party`s senior leader Mahendra Karma, who was the guiding force behind Salwa Judum.

A former Congress MLA Udya Mudaliyar was also shot dead by the Maoists who attacked the convoy at around 1730 hours when they were returning from a "Parivartan" rally.
Karma, a former home minister of the state who was a guiding force behind "Salwa Judum" (anti-Naxal operation by vigilante groups), was killed when a large number of Maoists opened fire on the rally. The burst of gunfire was preceded by a blast.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi have condemned the incident and are scheduled to visit Chhattisgarh today.

Sonia Gandhi, speaking to reporters in New Delhi after holding a late evening meeting at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s official residence, termed the attack "despicable" and said the party was "devastated".

Minister of State for Home RPN Singh, who is slated to go to the state Sunday, tweeted condemning the attack.

Chief Minister Raman Singh said: "This is not an attack on a particular party, but an attack on democracy."

"We must all maintain calm. I have spoken to the prime minister, and also to Rajnath Singh (BJP chief) and to Sushma Swaraj (Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha)," he said.

He said his government is in touch with his medical authorities in Delhi and Hyderabad.

"The fight against Maoists is long. We need to show unity," Singh said.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Rajnath Singh, in Gorakhpur, condemned the attack.

"I condemn it in strong words. We should fight it and rise above petty political considerations."