02/11/2018 11:07 AM IST | Updated 02/11/2018 11:07 AM IST

Had No Intention To Kill Doordarshan Cameraperson, Say Maoists Owning Up To Dantewada Attack

Maoists claimed in a handwritten statement that they were not aware that the Doordarshan crew was present along with the police.

Pavan Dahat
The letter from Communist Party of India (Maoist) Sainath

NAGPUR — The outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) on Friday owned up to the attack in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh on 30 October that killed a Doordarshan cameraperson Achyutanand Sahu and two personnel.

The banned outfit, however, claimed that its ambush squad was not aware of the presence of the Doordarshan team along with the policemen.

"We did not know that the Doordarshan team was accompanying the security personnel. The death of Achyutanand Sahu (DD cameraperson) in thhe firing was a sad incident. We never kill reporters intentionally," Maoist leader Sainath, who is the secretary of the CPI (Maoist) Darbha Divisional Committee, said in a handwritten statement.

The Maoist leader decried "false propaganda" against his outfit.

"After this incident, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Union I&B minister and IPS officer Awasthi have been spreading misinformation that we deliberately attacked the Doordarshan team. Journalists are our friends, not enemies. We appeal to all journalists to not to come to conflict areas along with the security personnel. We also appeal to the election officials not to come along with the security forces," Sainath stated.

The Maoist leader also claimed that the 30 October attack near Nilawaya village was in response to the the alleged atrocities by security forces on local villagers.

"Attacks on local villagers, arresting them on false allegations, showing innocent villagers as Maoists and then parading their surrender in front of the media has become routine in this area. The forces also destroy crops of local villagers in this area. The PLGA (Peoples' Liberation Guerilla Army) planned the ambush of 30 October because of these reasons and attacked the policemen when they reached the spot in the morning. But we did not that the Doordarshan team was also travelling along with them on bikes," he contended and asked the people of Bastar to boycott the assembly elections in the state.