Security personnel ran out of bullets

Security personnel ran out of bullets

A day after the dastardly Maoist attack in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh, in which at least 27 Congress party leaders, workers and security personnel were killed, sketchy details have begun

to emerge, suggesting that the security personnel and drivers with the leaders ran out of ammunition, making them sitting ducks for the gun-toting red brigade.

“Sorry, our bullets are finished, we failed to protect you,” the personal security officer and driver of Congress leader V C Shukla and Nand Kumar Patel had said before shooting themselves with the last bullets.

This incident has been tweeted by Bastar-based tribal commentator Surendra Katc­hh (Twitter handle @suredraKatchh), who claims to be a family friend of slain leader Mahendra Karma.

Besides Karma, other leaders gunned down by the rebels include state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel and his son Dinesh, as well as former MLA Uday Mudaliyar.

Former chief minister Ajit Jogi, who flew in a helicopter to Sukma for the Parivartan Rally, escaped because his car was not in the convoy as he returned to Raipur the same way he had gone. The Congress leaders were coming from Sukma to Keshlur for another rally when the convoy was attacked.  
Many local Congress leaders, including Bastar Congress president Lakheshwar Bagel and local leader Mahadev Nag, had to walk close to 50 km through the jungle on a rainy night to avoid any further Maoist ambush.  The attack in Darbha Ghat, analysts say, is as serious as the 2010 massacre of 76 Central Reserve Police Force personnel.

Braving heavy rain, security forces have launched a massive search operation to recover bodies and rescue missing Congress workers. More than 600 CRPF personnel, including CoBRA commandos, had been rushed to sanitise and take control of the attack site by Saturday night.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reviewed the security situation in Chhattisgarh with Chief Minister Raman Singh and state officials, and offered all possible help to the state.

Singh, Sonia Gandhi and a string of top political leaders visited Medanta Medicity hospital in Gurgaon, where octogenarian Congress leader V C Shukla is being treated.

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