New Delhi: Mother! I love you. It is possible I will die in this attack," Doordarshan cameraman M.M. Sharma said on his mobile telephone as Maoists ambushed a team of policemen and Doordarshan journalists. But he had a miraculous escape.
The Assistant Cameraman was with two other colleagues and a police patrol when they were attacked by Maoists in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada district on Tuesday.
As bullets whizzed overhead and grenades exploded around him, a shaken Sharma dived for cover on the ground, realizing he could get killed.
He whipped out his mobile telephone and recorded a video message for his mother which he thought would be his last.
On Wednesday, Sharma released the transcript of the message, punctuated by gunfire and exploding grenades as a large group of Maoists surrounded and took on the security personnel in a lonely stretch.
"There has been a terrorist attack. We had come to Dantewada for election coverage. We were travelling by road... The Army was with us. Suddenly, Maoists surrounded us... The situation is not right.
"I do not know why but I am not feeling scared even after staring at death. It will be hard to escape. Six or seven jawans are with us. We are surrounded from all sides," said Sharma, speaking haltingly in Hindi.
Although he survived, two policemen were killed instantly at the spot while his cameraman colleague Achyuta Nanda Sahu was seriously injured and died in a hospital. A third policeman died on Wednesday.
Moments of facing near-death fury: Heart wrenching visual of a DD team member witnessing #DantewadaNaxalAttack alongwith a few colleagues & police on way to a Chhattisgarh village. By the time video was recorded, cameraman Achuytananda had already taken naxal bullets on his chest pic.twitter.com/y7Rc9Bufan
— OTV (@otvnews) October 31, 2018
The Doordarshan crew was moving from Aranpur police station to Nilaway village along with the policemen in vehicles when they were attacked.
The other Doordarshan colleague who too survived was journalist Dheeraj Kumar.
Chhattisgarh is set to elect a new Assembly in November.