Firing Started As Journalists Were Filming Maoist Poster: Dantewada Cops

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Mr Sahu, who was from Odisha, was working with the Doordarshan office in Delhi.


The Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh in which two policemen and a cameraperson of national broadcaster Doordarshan was killed, had no connection with the coming elections, the state police have said. The police team was on a patrolling operation and the three-member team from Doordarshan, which was accompanying them, got caught in the crossfire, they said.
"I have been asked if today's incidents and the incident the day before pertains to upcoming polls. No, this is to do with the road construction," a spokesperson of the police told reporters in the evening.
The journalists, said a member of the Chhattisgarh police, were on way to a village, Nilawaya, when they were ambushed around 11 am.
"Our entire team was coming to this village to cover the election that is happening for the first time here," said Mormukt Sharma, who was part of the crew.
The team, which was travelling on three bikes, had stopped midway to get shots of a Maoist poster that advised the people to boycott the coming elections, when the firing started. The Maoist-affected district votes on November 12.
The shootout, the police spokesperson said, continued for nearly 50 minutes.
By the end of it, two policemen and Doordarshan cameraperson Achitanand Sahu were dead. It is possible that two Maoists have also been killed, the police said, but the bodies are yet to be recovered.
"As he was shot, he fell. We knew immediately it was a Naxal attack. We also fell off the bikes and took shelter under this tree. We could have also been shot," Mr Sharma said.
Mr Sahu, who was from Odisha, was working with the Doordarshan office in Delhi.

Union minister Rajyavardhan Rathore later said his wife will be given a job in the government. An ex-gratia of Rs 15 lakh has also been announced.
On Saturday, four personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force were killed and 2 injured when Maoists blew up their mine-protected vehicle in the Bijapur district.
Yesterday, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, who was campaigning in Chhattisgarh, claimed that the number of Maoist-affected districts has reduced from 150 to 78-80 over the years.

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