In its statement, Naxals warned the media not to accompany policemen or security forces in conflict zones.
Days after Naxals ambushed a DD News crew travelling with security forces to cover the upcoming elections in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada, killing a DD News cameraman, they have now issued a statement saying that their intention was not to target the media.
“DD Cameraman Achutyanand Sahu was killed after being caught in the ambush and we had no intention of targeting the media,” the statement by the Naxals read.
In its statement, Naxals further warned the media not to accompany policemen or security forces in conflict zones. ” Media persons should not come along with policemen in the conflict zone, especially during elections under any circumstances,” it warned.
Slamming their statement, Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallav said as per ANI, “Why was camera looted? Because it had recorded evidence of what happened in the first few minutes of targeted media ambush. Multiple bullet wounds and skull fractures on the martyred cameraman in no ways indicates it was by mistake.”
Last Tuesday, Doordarshan cameraman Achutyanand Sahu was killed in an attack on the channel’s crew by Naxals in Dantewada’s Aranpur area. The attack had come on the crew of the channel nearly two weeks ahead of the Assembly polls in the state. Along with him, two CRPF Jawans were also reported killed.
“Today our patrolling party was ambushed by Naxals in Aranpur… two of our personnel were martyred, and a DD cameraman was also injured and later succumbed… two more personnel injured,” DIG P Sundarraj had told media after the attack.
Two policemen who were killed in the incident were later identified as Sub Inspector Rudra Pratap, Assistant Constable Mangalu.
Narrating the incident later, Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallav broke down while lauding the bravehearts. He said as per the agency, “Naxals took the camera of one of the media persons and dragged other two. My constable fought the Naxals else two more media persons could’ve been harmed.”