(Image source from: National Herald)
Doordarshan News cameraperson Achyutananda Sahu and two other policemen were killed in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada on Tuesday after their unit was attacked by a group of Naxals.
Two other policemen have been injured in the attack.
Deputy General Inspector of Police (Naxal Operation) P Sundarraj addressed the media on the attack and stated that the DD news crew, who was accompanying a Chhattisgarh police team patrolling the area, was trapped by Naxals in Dantewada's Aranpur village.
"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. Two more personnel have been injured," P Sundarraj said.
According to a tweet by Prasar Bharati, DD News had deployed a camera team for election coverage in Chhattisgarh. The team included cameraman Achyutananda Sahu, reporter Dhiraj Kumar, and light assistant Mormukt Sharma.
Speaking to PTI, DIG Sundarraj identified the two martyred police personnel as Sub Inspector Rudra Pratap and Assistant Constable Mangalu.
DD News had deployed a camera team for election coverage in Chatisgarh. The team included cameraman Achyutananda Sahu, reporter Dhiraj Kumar and light assistant Mormukt Sharma. The team came under attack by Maoists this forenoon near Dantewada. https://t.co/N0u9HnZb1J— Prasar Bharati (@prasarbharati) October 30, 2018
The attack comes ahead of the Assembly Elections in Chhattisgarh, which will be held in two phases - the first on November 12 and the second on November 20. Naxal groups in the state have asked people to boycott the polls.
Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore have condoled the deaths.
"We stand in solidarity with the family of the cameraperson. We will take care of his family. We salute all those media persons who go for coverage in such dangerous situations. We remember their bravery," Rathore was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Three days ago, four Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel were killed in a Naxal attack in Chhattisgarh's Bijapur district, on a day Chief Minister Raman Singh kicked off the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party's election campaign for the elections.
On Tuesday, Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad claimed that the number of Maoist-affected districts has decreased from 150 to 78-80 over the years.