Dantewada/New Delhi: In a major naxal attack, outlaws on Tuesday executed an improvised explosive device (IED) blast killing BJP Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) Bheema Mandavi and four security personnel in insurgency-hit Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, police said.

The incident took place near Shyamgiri hills falling in the limits of Kuwakonda police station around 4 pm.

According to police, BJP MLA from Dantewada Bheema Mandavi and four personnel of District Force (DF), deployed in security of the MLA, were killed in the powerful IED blast executed by ultras.

The intensity of the blast, which took place around 25 km away from the district headquarters, was very powerful, which left the bulletproof vehicle of Mandavi in two pieces.

“Mandavi was returning from Bacheli after attending a public meeting and heading towards Nakulnar when rebels attacked the convoy,” a senior police officer said.

Bhupesh Baghel, the Chhattisgarh chief minister, is holding an emergency meeting at his residence with all security forces deployed in the state.

DIG (operations) P Sunder Raj confirmed that a driver, three Personal Security Officers (PSOs) and the BJP MLA were killed in the incident. 

Only last week, naxals killed four Border Security Force (BSF) personnel and two others in an encounter in Kanker district. All the jawans were from the 114 battalion of the BSF deployed in Pakhanjur in Kanker. They were targeted with IEDs.

This is not the first time that naxals have launched attacks before elections. Just 10 days before the Assembly elections last year, naxals killed a cameraperson of DD News, Achyutanand Sahu, in an ambush in insurgency-hit Dantewada district.

In that incident, two others, identified as Constable Vishnu Netam and Assistant Constable Rakesh Kaushal, suffered bullet injuries. Kaushal succumbed to his injuries later.

During the state elections the naxals had called for a boycott and asked locals not to vote.

Who is Mandavi?

In the Chhattisgarh Assembly election last year, Mandavi had won the reserved constituency of Dantewada by defeating Congress' Devti Karma. He was famous among the locals as he used to visit the Red Zone almost every third day and used to chair a meeting for the redressal of public complaints. When he was attacked, he was visiting a village to campaign for forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.