Raipur: Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde reached Chhattisgarh on Friday, six days after the Naxal attack on a Congress convoy in Darbha ghati in which at least 24 people were killed. Shinde met the families of the May 25 attack victims including that of slain Salwa Judum founder Mahendra Karma and state Congress president Nand Kumar Patel in Nandeli.
The Home Minister then headed towards Raipur where he met the some other people injured in the attack.
Shinde had defended his absence in the wake of the attacks on Thursday citing medical reasons. The Congress too has defended him. But the opposition has severely criticised Shinde for his prolonged absence even after the Jagdalpur bloodbath.
He met the families of the May 25 attack victims including that of Mahendra Karma and Nand Kumar Patel.
Naxals had used 27 to 30 kilogrammes of explosives during the attack on May 25 on the convoy of Congress leaders at Darbha Ghati, a few kilometres from Jagdalpur in Chhattisgarh. According to the forensic report which the National Security Guard blast analysis team shared with the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the Naxals used Ammonium Nitrate, a very commonly used explosive by them, to attack the convoy.
Electric detonators with command wire were used to trigger the blast which left a huge crater on the road. The explosives were used to block and slow down the convoy carrying Congress leaders after which the Naxals started firing at the convoy killing several Congress leaders and security personnel.
The investigators also found 200-meter long wires used to detonate the explosive which had been planted a few feet under the road. The blast was triggered as soon as the convoy reached the spot following which the Naxals started firing.
Disbanded anti-Naxal movement Salwa Judum founder and Congress leader Mahendra Karma, Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel and his son Dinesh and former MLA Uday Mudaliyar were killed along with many security personnel in the attack.
While Karma, Mudaliyar and others were killed immediately by the Naxals, Nand Kumar Patel and his son Dinesh were abducted and their dead bodies were found early on Sunday morning a few hundred metres from the attack site. The Naxal attack left 24 at least people dead.
Karma was main target of the Naxals and he met a very brutal and gruesome end as the rebels stabbed him at least 75 times and also fired at him after taking him away from the attack site.
Nand Kumar Patel's body also had bullet and stab wounds, but less than Karma. According to the post-mortem report, Dinesh Patel had an axe like wound on his head and also had injuries from bullets and stabbing.
Senior Congress leader VC Shukla, who was critically injured in the attack, continues to be on ventilator support at Medanta hospital in Gurgaon where he was airlifted from a Jagdalpur hospital.
The NIA is probing whether top Naxal leader Katakam Sudarshan was behind the attack on the Congress rally that has exposed serious security lapses in the state and lack of security personnel to tackle the threat.