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Doordarshan cameraman killed during ambush, no intention of targeting media: Naxals

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NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Maoist) has released a statement claiming the Dantewada attack on Friday. It further says that it was never their intention to target the media and kill the DD cameraperson Achutyanand Sahu.

Two policemen and Sahu were killed while two others injured in the Naxals attack on Tuesday in poll-bound Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district.

The two-page handwritten letter, shared by news agency ANI, was signed by Sainath, chief of Darbha division committee, CPI (Maoist).

 

“Every day, our villages are attacked, locals beaten up, killed in fake encounters, imprisoned over fake cases. Some are nabbed under the fake pretence of surrender and presented as Naxals to the media.

All this has become a common affair now,” claimed the letter, adding that political parties are misleading the media.

Recalling the incidents of the encounter on October 30, the Naxals claimed that like every other day, police tried to ambush them on this day too. “We had no idea that the the Doordarshan team is also present. The forced firing on us led to the death of Achutyanand Sahu. We will never kill journalists on purpose,” it said.

Addressing media directly, the letter requests journalists not to accompany policemen, especially those on election duty, in conflict zones.

Dantewada Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallav, however, dismissed the statement claiming that the cameraman was killed since it has recorded evidence of the first few minutes of the ambush.
“Why was camera looted? Because it had recorded evidence of what happened in the first few minutes of targeted media ambush. Multiple bullet wounds and skull fractures on the martyred cameraman in no ways indicates it was by mistake,” said Pallav.

A three-member Doordarshan team, which included Sahu, lighting assistant Mormukut Sharma and journalist Dhiraj Kumar, were in Chhattisgarh for the coverage of the upcoming Assembly polls and had joined the police party travelling on eight motorcycles through a desolate and forested area on their way to Nilawaya village in Dantewada district, about 450 kilometres from state capital Raipur.

Sahu, died in the early minutes of the ambush when he was hit by a bullet while riding pillion with a policeman on a motorcycle.


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National

Time and again exit polls have failed to catch people’s pulse: Naidu

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Amaravati: With most of the exit polls predicting a rout for his party in Andhra Pradesh, Telugu Desam party president N Chandrababu Naidu said that time and again such polls failed.

“Time and again exit polls have failed to catch the people’s pulse. Exit polls have proved to be incorrect and far from ground reality in many instances. While undoubtedly TDP govt will be formed in AP, we are confident that non-BJP parties will form a non-BJP govt at the center (sic),” Naidu said in a late night tweet.

Barring one or two, almost all exit polls predicted a thumping victory for the main opposition YSR Congress in the state elections. They also said the YSRC would win close to 20 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the state.

 

Though not dismal, the polls gave good numbers to the TDP as well. In another tweet, he said, “We reiterate our demand to the ECI to count VVPATs in at least 50 per cent of polling stations. VVPATs should be counted in 5 polling stations in each Assembly Constituency at the beginning of counting process. In case of discrepancy, all VVPATs of Assembly Constituency shall be counted. (sic)”

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‘What has he achieved by sitting inside the cave?’ LJD on PM’s Kedarnath visit

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New Delhi: Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) leader Sharad Yadav took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for visiting and meditating at Kedarnath temple and allowing media to cover it on a large scale even as the last phase of seven-phased Lok Sabha election was underway.

He asked if the Prime Minister wants to convert the Lok Sabha into a ‘Kirtan Sabha’.

“The Prime Minister of the biggest democracy in the world is sitting inside the cave. What has he achieved by sitting inside the cave? Did any invention take place? Does he want to convert the Lok Sabha into a Kirtan Sabha?” Yadav said while speaking to ANI.

 

Prime Minister Modi on Saturday offered prayers at the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath, a day after campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls came to a close.

After spending over 15-hours meditating inside a holy cave of Kedarnath, he visited Badrinath, another temple in Uttarakhand’s revered ‘Char Dham’ on Sunday.

Several opposition leaders have been targeting Modi for his visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath temples stating that his action was a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and it influences voters through a public display of his personal religious activities.

Echoing similar sentiments, the LJD leader said: “I do not understand what people get from such caves? Did people bring him to the Centre to perform religious activities? This is all drama to gain publicity for which the Prime Minister has even violated poll conduct.”

Yadav, on being asked about his view on the exit polls which are giving a clear majority to BJP-led NDA at the Centre, said: “Exit polls have no value. This is unfortunate for the country that we copy everything from the United States and Europe. Exit poll cannot be held in this country. I personally never believe in the exit polls as they have no accurate figures.”

ABP-Nielsen poll projected 267 for the NDA, 127 for the UPA and 148 for ‘Others’. Of the ‘Others’, the grand alliance in Uttar Pradesh is getting an estimated 50 seats.

Voting was held on Sunday for 59 Lok Sabha seats — 13 each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine in West Bengal, eight each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, all four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and the lone seat of Union Territory Chandigarh.

As per the EC, a voter turnout of 62 percent was registered till 7 pm in the seventh phase. Counting of votes is scheduled on May 23.

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National

Exit polls are shown by media but BJP will be thrown out of power: Babbar

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Agra: Congress leader Raj Babbar claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP government will remain at the Centre only till 6 am on May 23 and they will be thrown out of power by 6 pm.

“Exit polls are being shown by the media. But what is in the people’s heart will be reflected in the results on May 23. People will surely tell their ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to PM Modi. This time, it has been ensured that Prime Minister Modi and BJP government will be in power till 6 am on May 23 and after 6 pm they will not be in power,” Raj Babbar said while speaking to ANI here.

The Congress leader, who is contesting from Agra, took a dig at Prime Minister Modi’s Kedarnath visit and the traditional Garwali outfit which he sported while offering prayers at the temple. “I wore several traditional outfits in my acting career and even went to sacred pilgrimage. I believe one should not comment on an individual’s religious sentiments but this was too much,” he said.

 

Several opposition leaders, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, have been targeting Modi for his visit to Kedarnath and Badrinath temples stating that his action was a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) and it influences voters through a public display of his personal religious activities.

Prime Minister Modi on Saturday offered prayers at the Himalayan shrine of Kedarnath, a day after campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls came to a close.

After spending over 15-hours meditating inside a holy cave of Kedarnath, he visited Badrinath, another temple in Uttarakhand’s revered ‘Char Dham’ on Sunday.

The exit polls are giving a clear majority to BJP-led NDA at the Centre. ABP-Nielsen poll projected 267 for the NDA, 127 for the UPA and 148 for ‘Others’ while CNN News 18-IPSOS exit poll gave the BJP and its allies the highest number of 336 seats with the saffron party on its own getting 276 seats, four more than it had won in the 2014 elections.

Voting was held on Sunday for 59 Lok Sabha seats — 13 each in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, nine in West Bengal, eight each in Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, all four in Himachal Pradesh, three in Jharkhand and the lone seat of Union Territory Chandigarh.

As per the EC, a voter turnout of 62 per cent was registered till 7 pm in the seventh phase. Counting of votes is scheduled on May 23.

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