New Delhi: Doordarshan video journalist Achyuta Nanda Sahu and two security personnel were killed while some others were injured when they were ambushed by more than 200 Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district on Tuesday.
Cameraperson Sahu was caught in the crossfire and fatally shot in the attack. Fortunately lighting assistant of DD News, 35-year-old Mor Mukut Sharma, who was part of the crew was lucky to survive the attack and he recorded what he thought was his last words to his mother.
The video portrays the terror that the crew and policemen witnessed in their last minutes.
“We have come under a terrorist attack. We are in Dantewada to cover the election. While on the way, accompanied by the Army, we were suddenly ambushed by Naxals,” Sharma is heard saying in the video as the sound of bullets whizzing past can be heard in the background.
“Mummy, if I survive this incident, I will be thankful. Mummy, I just want you to know that I love you very much. Chances are that I will be killed in this attack. The situation is not good,” Sharma added in the video message that he shot lying on the ground.
“I do not know why but I am not scared while looking death in the face. It will be difficult to survive this. There are six to seven soldiers with us. We have been surrounded…” Sharma said.
(Video credit: Facebook | @NewsChrome)
Sharma was a part of the three-member team, including cameraman Achyuta Nanda Sahu and journalist Dheeraj Kumar, sent by Doordarshan to cover the two-phased polls in Chhattisgarh next month.
The crew was ambushed by Maoists when they were heading to a new polling booth in Nilawaya near Sumeli camp, where people have not voted for the past 20 years.
Achyuta Nanda Sahu, sub-inspector Rudra Pratap and assistant sub-inspector Manglu of the Chhattisgarh police were killed in the attack.
“On the way, ahead of Nilawaya, the media team spotted a Maoist poster put up on a branch of a tree. To record, cameraperson Achyuta Nanda Sahu got down from the motorcycle and went close to the tree. Around 200 Maoists opened fire on the team. Sahu was hit on the first round of fire,” special director general (Naxal operations) DM Awasthi said.
The naxals have called upon voters to boycott the assembly polls in the state, which has 90 seats.
The first phase of polls covering 18 constituencies of eight Naxal-affected districts Bastar, Kanker Sukma, Bijapur, Dantewada, Narayanpur, Kondagaon and Rajnandgaon will be held on November 12.
The remaining 72 constituencies will go to polls on November 20.
Counting of votes will be held on December 11....