Maoists gun down Chhattisgarh MP’s son


Raipur : Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Baliram Kashyap’s two sons were shot by suspected Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district Saturday, killing one of them, police said.

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“Maoists fired several rounds at Kashyap’s sons, Dinesh and Tansen, when they were at a temple performing Mahashtami Durga Puja in their ancestral village Gharguda in Bastar district,” a top police official told IANS.

The attack took place 300 km south of here.

Four Maoists, described by eyewitnesses as minors, opened fire minutes after Kashyap’s another son Kedar, a state cabinet minister, left the temple with his security guards.

“The attackers managed to escape. We have alerted police stations across the Bastar district and launched a massive search,” T.J. Longkumer, inspector general of police of Bastar range, told reporters.

According to a family source: “The two were rushed to Maharani Hospital in Jagdalpur with multiple bullet wounds, where Tansen succumbed to his injuries. Dinesh is out of danger after an operation.”

Bastar Janpad panchayat president Tansen, 35, who had suffered bullet shots on head and leg, was the youngest of three sons of 73-year-old veteran tribal leader Baliram Kashyap, a four-term MP.

Baliram and his family members have been on the hit-list of the Maoists for years, mainly for their open support to a controversial government-backed civil militia movement Salwa Judum.

Salwa Judum, launched in June 2005, aims to flush out the Maoists from the state’s mineral rich Bastar region where the Leftist radicals have held sway since the late 1980s.

BJP sources said that Baliram, who has keeping poor health for the past several months, slipped into comma for a brief period in the afternoon after hearing of his son’s death and was taken to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a government hospital in Jagdalpur.

The ruling BJP and the Congress have condemned the killing and described it “a coward act of Maoists”.