Maoist attack: India will not be intimidated, says Mukherjee

New Delhi, May 26 (IANS) Expressing shock at the Maoist attack on a Congress convoy in Chhattisgarh, President Pranab Mukherjee Sunday said the country would not be "intimidated" by such acts. Vice President Hamid Ansari said extremism and violence have to be fought and eliminated.

"I am deeply dismayed and shocked at the wanton violence unleashed by Maoists. I condemn this incident in the strongest of terms and would like to reiterate that violence has no place whatsoever in our democratic polity," Mukherjee said.

"The nation will neither be overawed nor intimidated by such action," he added.

Calling upon authorities concerned to do their utmost to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice, Mukherjee said the safety and security of the country's citizens should be ensured at all times.

"I express my deepest condolences to the families of those killed in the incident and offer my prayers for the speedy recovery of those injured in the incident," he added.

Condemning the "dastardly attack", Ansari said there was no place for such senseless and barbaric acts in civilized societies.

"All forms of extremism and violence have to be fought and eliminated from our midst," he said, conveying his "heartfelt condolences" to the families of those killed and wishing the injured speedy recovery.

A large number of heavily-armed Maoists Saturday attacked a Congress party convoy in a forested area of Chhattisgarh's southern Bastar area. They carried out a landmine blast and then opened indiscriminate fire, killing close to 30 people.

Congress leader Mahendra Karma and former legislator Uday Mudaliar were killed on the spot. Party leader and former union minister Vidya Charan Shukla was seriously injured in the incident.

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