Naxal letter claims DD cameraman was ‘caught in ambush’, Police say ‘targeted murder’

"Cameraman Achyutananda Sahu had multiple bullet wounds and fractures on the skull. Naxals looted his camera because the initial moments of the targeted media ambush were recorded there," says Dantewada police.

Days after Doordarshan cameraman Achyutananda Sahu was murdered by Naxals in Dantewada, the Naxals in the area have released a letter, claiming that cameraman Sahu was killed in an ambush and they (Naxals) had no intention of killing him.

In the letter, the left-wing terrorists have stated that they were opposed to a road being constructed from Bharatpur in Dantewada to Burgum and the ambush on the police team was a retaliation as the road is causing harm to the crop sown by farmers. They have stated that the Chhattisgarh government and police are spreading lies stating that the Naxals are targeting media persons. The letter also claims that the upcoming elections should be boycotted and any ‘BJP Sangh Parivar members coming to ask for votes should be killed and chased away while candidates from other parties should be interrogated in a ‘Jan Adalat’. The letter also asks journalists not to come accompanied by security forces.

Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallav has rubbished this claim and stated that the Naxals have killed the DD cameraman deliberately.

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SP Pallav has stated that the body of Achyutananda Sahu had multiple bullet wounds and fractures on his skull. indicating that the attack on Sahu was no ‘mistake’ but a deliberate, cold-blooded murder, Pallav further asserted that if it was only an ambush on the security forces why did the Naxals loot Sahu’s camera.

The attack on October 30 had resulted in the deaths of two CRPF personnel and the DD cameraman Sahu. DD journalist Mormukut Sharma had narrowly escaped the ambush. Sharma’s video secretly shot during the fierce ambush had gone viral on social media. Amidst sounds of firing bullets in the dense forest, Sharma was seen sending a message to his mother that he believed would be his last.

Chhattisgarh goes into polls in two phases on 12 and 20 November.

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