Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday defended the state police and denied any intelligence failure even though a sitting BJP MLA and four others were killed in a Naxal attack. Bhupesh Baghel condemned the attack on BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi that took place in the state’s Dantewada district.
BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi, his driver and three personal security officers were killed in the attack.
Speaking to media, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhipesh Baghel said the attack in Dantewada was “not due to intelligence failure”.
“The BJP MLA didn’t inform the authorities concerned that he is taking a short route to travel. If he had informed, the ROP (road opening party) would have been sent to sanitise the route,” Bhagel said.
The chief minister said BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi was given a security cover of 50 DRG men but he sent them back after 1pm. He said the state police also informed him [Mandavi] of the danger ahead and told his that adequate security is not available on the route.
“But even after several warnings, Bhima Mandavi continued his journey and his convoy was attacked by Naxals,” Bhagel said.
“Had Bheema Mandavi listened to the police, he would be alive now. But he did not heed their advice sent the DRG force back. He went out without giving prior information,” the chief minister said.
“The police station in-charge also called and told Mandavi about the security situation. There is no security failure and there is no conspiracy either,” he said.
On Tuesday, Maoists attacked the convoy in which Mandavi was travelling, and killed all five including his driver and three personal security officers (PSO).
(With inputs from ANI)