Attack on DD cameraperson was unintentional: Maoists’ statement
Bhubaneswar: Three days after a Doordarshan video journalist from Odisha, Achyutananda Sahu was killed in an attack by Naxals in Dantewada’s Aranpur of Chhattisgarh, the left wing extremists have now clarified that they had no intention to kill the cameraperson.
Releasing a statement, Darbha Division Committee (DVC) of Maoists today claimed that they had no intention to target the media but the DD cameraperson Sahu was killed after being caught in the ambush.
“The security personnel have been forcefully allowing construction of road from Aranpur to Burgum area since October 1 without caring about the destruction of cultivation of poor tribals in the process. Protesting the development we had carried out an ambush near Aranpur and as the security personnel reached the spot we attacked them. But we had no idea that a media team had also accompanied them. We had no intention of killing media persons since they are not our enemies but friends,” the statement by the Maoists said.
Condemning media reports of their intentional attack on journalists, the Maoists have also urged the media and other persons not to accompany police especially for poll-related duties.
Meanwhile, the police have refuted the claims made by the ultras.
Clarifying on the Naxal statement, Dantewada SP Abhishek Pallav has said that the left wing extremists intentionally looted the camera of the DD journalist Achyutananda Sahu because it contained recorded evidence of what happened in first few minutes of targeted media ambush.
“Multiple bullet wounds & skull fractures on the martyred cameraman in no ways indicates it was by mistake,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Notably, Achyutananda Sahu, a video journalist from Ghusuramunda village of Bolangir district in Odisha along with two other security personnel, Sub Inspector Rudra Pratap, Assistant Constable Mangalu were killed in an attack by Maoists while carrying out an election coverage programme near Nilabaya of Aranpur area in Dantewada district of Chhatisgarh on October 30.