Shinde condoles Shukla's demise, says NIA investigating Chhattisgarh Naxal attack

New Delhi, June 11 (ANI): Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde condoled the demise of Congress veteran Vidya Charan Shukla, who died today in a Gurgaon hospital after battling injuries sustained in the Naxal attack on a convoy of party leaders a fortnight ago in Chhattisgarh.

"I have sad news, Vidya Charan Shukla is no more, he died this afternoon and I condole his death," he said.

Shinde said that an inquiry is underway into the matter, and added that strict and decisive action would be taken.

"NIA is inquiring into the case. And the police action from both places, from the state government as well as from the central paramilitary forces, is on," he added.

Shinde, who presided over a high-level meeting in Raipur last month to review the security situation in Chhattisgarh in the wake of the May 25 Naxal attack, said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is investigating whether their was a security lapse that led to the tragic Bastar incident.

Shukla, 84, breathed his last at the Medanta Medicity Hospital in Gurgaon this afternoon after battling the bullet injuries that he sustained in the Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh last month.

Shukla, who was critically injured in the Maoist attack on May 25, was airlifted to the Medanta Medicity Hospital from Raipur a day after the attack.

Heavily-armed Maoists had on May 25 ambushed a convoy of Congress leaders in the state's Bastar district, killing 28 people including PCC chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh, Congress leader Mahendra Karma and ex-MLA Uday Mudliyar and injuring 37 others.

The Chhattisgarh Government has announced a three-day official mourning. His body will be flown to Raipur and the last rites will take place with full state honors tomorrow.

For the general elections in 1957, the Congress Party chose him as their Lok Sabha candidate from Mahasamund constituency. He won with a thumping majority and entered the Parliament of India as one of the youngest Parliamentarians.

He returned elected to Lok Sabha nine times in subsequent elections. When Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister in 1966, she chose him as a Minister in her Cabinet.

In a long span of political career, he has held many portfolios including Communications, Home, Defence, Finance, Planning, Information and Broadcasting, Civil Supplies, External Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs and Water Resources. (ANI)


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