Skip to main content

Maoist attack on Indian political motorcade kills 24, hurts 33

By Harmeet Shah Singh, CNN
updated 7:21 PM EDT, Sun May 26, 2013
Indian medical staff carry an injured victim early May 26 after an ambush on a convoy of Congress Party leaders in Chhattisgarh.
Indian medical staff carry an injured victim early May 26 after an ambush on a convoy of Congress Party leaders in Chhattisgarh.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Maoist rebels detonate a land mine, open fire on a political motorcade
  • Among the 24 killed is the founder of an anti-Maoist tribal militia, eight police officers
  • Most people in the convoy were from India's ruling Congress party
  • Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visits the injured, vows to find culprits

New Delhi (CNN) -- At least 24 people were killed and 33 were injured in Saturday's audacious Maoist attack on a political motorcade in India's Chhattisgarh state, the province's home secretary told CNN Sunday.

No arrests have been made so far, but investigations have begun, Chhattisgarh's Home Secretary N.K. Aswal said.

The assault on a convoy of politicians from the country's ruling Congress party also killed Mahendra Karma, founder of a controversial anti-Maoist tribal militia called Salwa Judam, or the Purification Hunt, authorities say.

At least 16 cars in the motorcade of local Congress leaders were passing through a forested area in the eastern Indian state when Maoists triggered a land mine and opened fire on them, area Police Superintendent Mayank Srivastava told CNN.

At least 200 guerrillas were involved in the ambush, Srivastava said, citing witness accounts.

Among the dead were eight policemen, three laborers and some car drivers, he added.

On Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited some of the injured in a hospital in Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh state. He was accompanied by his Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi.

"We will pursue the perpetrators of this crime with urgency, and I can assure the nation that the government is committed to bringing them to justice," Singh said.

Saturday's Maoist raid came barely three days after Singh announced what he called a significant decline in killings by left-wing insurgents, whom the federal government describes as the nation's gravest internal security threat.

"The quantum of violence as well as the resultant killings perpetrated by the left-wing extremist groups in 2012 declined significantly for the second successive year," said a report Singh released on Wednesday to mark the fourth anniversary of his second term in office.

He insisted his government has continued to provide public infrastructure and services in tribal districts hit by Maoist extremism.

The rebels, officials say, aim to seize power through an armed liberation struggle.

Since the 1960s, the militants have said they are fighting for the dispossessed.

Authorities suspect that Maoists enjoy support not only in the poorest areas and in tribal communities but also among youth and intellectuals.

In addition to targeting police, alleged police informers and people they call "class enemies," the insurgents also are believed to be attacking infrastructure such as roads, bridges, railways, and power and telecommunication networks.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:51 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
Where do hip young things hang out in Taiwan?
updated 8:18 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
Stunning stations where your first priority won't be finding the nearest exit.
updated 9:49 PM EST, Sun November 23, 2014
A 30-year-old woman has been charged with attempting to kill a baby police say spent five days down a drain before being discovered by cyclists.
updated 8:21 PM EST, Thu November 20, 2014
If it wasn't for a comic's skit, Bill Cosby would still be America's favorite father, says expert.
updated 10:50 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Obama orders the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. immigration in decades, prioritizing the deportation of "felons, not families."
updated 4:06 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
Fighters loyal to ISIS are now in control of Derna, a city on Libya's Mediterranean coast.
updated 6:19 PM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
China and likely other countries have the capacity to shut down the U.S. power grid, says the NSA.
updated 2:45 PM EST, Wed November 19, 2014
The founder of a U.S. nonprofit that works with returning soldiers is named CNN's Hero of the Year.
updated 12:38 PM EST, Mon November 17, 2014
A Syrian cleric condemns ISIS and its execution of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig.
updated 12:29 PM EST, Tue November 18, 2014
TV anchor wears the same suit for a year. Female colleague wears new outfit daily. Who gets criticized?
updated 7:04 AM EST, Fri November 21, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT