Elections in India: Maoist Attack on Electoral Convoy Kills 5

Five people were killed Tuesday in an attack by Maoist rebels against an election party convoy in India's state of Chhattisgarh, two days before the elections in the country, Indian police said.

"According to our first investigations, five people died," said local police chief P. Sundar Raj. "There was a powerful explosion caused by a craft that left a crater in the ground."

The rebels detonated their homemade bombs before firing on the convoy of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party of the nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi, told AFP Girdhari Nayak, another police officer of this state from the center of the country.

A local deputy, his driver and three bodyguards were killed, according to police, in this attack in a remote area, about 340 kilometers from the state capital, Raipur.

"The explosion was very powerful ... it completely destroyed the vehicle," added Girdhari Nayak. "Immediately after the explosion, the Maoists opened fire indiscriminately."

According to another police officer, the power of the explosion has made the bodies of some victims difficult to identify. A second convoy vehicle was ambushed and was fired by attackers hidden in the surrounding jungle, he said.

The Prime Minister paid tribute on Twitter to the security personnel: "The sacrifice of these martyrs will not be in vain," he wrote.

Originating in a peasant jacquerie in a village of West Bengal in 1967, the Maoist guerrillas fought New Delhi by arms for half a century. It is now folded into a "red corridor" of forests in central and eastern India. Last week, four soldiers had already been killed in an ambush in Chhattisgarh.

This rebellion feeds on the anger of people who do not benefit from economic development or are its collateral victims.

Since 1980, more than 15,000 people have lost their lives in this conflict, mainly concentrated in the forest regions of Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bihar, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.

In the last general election in 2014, seven policemen were killed by a Maoist guerrilla mine.

The previous year, in regional elections, 25 members of the Congress Party had been ambushed in the state of Chhattisgarh.

Source: Seychelles News Agency