DD journalist from Odisha killed in Maoist ambush in Chhattisgarh

Chhattisgarh: A video journalist Achyutananda Sahu from Ghusuramunda village under Loisingha block in Bolangir district of Odisha working with Doordarshan was killed in an attack by Naxals in Dantewada’s Aranpur in Chhattisgarh today.

During the attack, two security personnel also lost their lives.

Sahu worked with the Indian Army and had taken voluntary retirement later. Subsequently, he studied cinematography at Biju Patnaik Film and Television Institute of Odisha in Cuttack and joined Doordarshan in 2013. Sahu got married two years back.

The Doordarshan team had visited the Maoist-prone region for election coverage and the incident occurred at around 11:20 am today when the team was heading towards Nilvaya village from Aranpur along with the police team.

As per reports, 111 battalion of CRPF have been rushed to the spot for reinforcement and evacuation.

While addressing the media, Deputy Inspector General (anti-Naxal operations) Sundarraj P said,”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.”

“Those killed were identified as Sub Inspector Rudra Pratap, Assistant Constable Mangalu and DD News cameraman Achyutanand from Delhi,” Sundarraj added.

Two other security personnel were injured in the incident, he said, adding that reinforcements were rushed to the spot.

According to sources, it is being suspected that there were around 100 to 200 Maoists in the area who executed the attack.

Speaking to OTV, Doordarshan employee Sanjay Jena, who had worked with Sahu said, “I was at Dantewada a month before and even warned him to be careful as election is around. I last spoke to him 2 days back.”

Information & Broadcast Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore said, “We stand in solidarity with the family of the cameraman, we will take care of his family. We salute all those mediapersons who go for coverage in such dangerous situations, remember their bravery. We salute valour of police personnel killed in the line of duty.”

Condemning the attack, defence analyst V N Thapar said, “We need to change our approach to deal with the naxals.”

“We are fighting insurgents not insurgency. We have to work with renewed tactics which is the need if the hour,” said Defence analyst Lt. General BS Jaswal.

Commenting on the ambush, Amit Jogi of Janata Congress Chhattisgarh stated, “South Bastar where the incident took place alone accounts for presence of highest number of Maoists, more than that found in the rest of the country. Despite one lakh paramilitary personnel posted, total failure of government approach has led to such a situation. On the eve of election, this is nothing but terror tactics.”

Meanwhile, former MP Baijayant Panda took to Twitter to offer his condolences.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the tragedy.