Thursday, October 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Naidu injured in mine blast

Tirupati, October 1
Chandrababu Naidu escapes mine explosion near Tirumala. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today escaped a bid on his life by suspected Naxalites who set off a series of powerful landmine blasts at the foothills of the famous Venkateswara Temple in which he received injuries on the nose, chest and collar bone. A ruling party MLA was critically injured.

Four others, including minister B Gopalakrishna Reddy and another MLA, were injured in the remote-controlled blasts near the Alipiri toll gate on the ghat road to the temple.

Mr Naidu, who is top on the hit list of extremists, suffered a fracture on his right hand, collar bone and minor injuries on his chest and nose as his motorcade bore the brunt of the blast that occurred at 4.15 pm near the high-security ghat road leading to Tirumala.

Senior Minister B Gopalakrishna Reddy, two MLAs Krishna Murthy and R Rajasekhar Reddy, and Chittoor district TDP president Rameshchandra were also injured in the blast that badly damaged the Chief Minister’s bullet-proof car.

The condition of Mr Rajasekhar Reddy, who represents the Puthur constituency in serious.

It is the first time that naxalites of the outlawed People’s War Group (PWG), active in large parts of the state, has targeted a Chief Minister in more than a decade.

Mr Naidu, along with the other injured, were airlifted to Hyderabad by a special aircraft.

Home Minister T Devender Goud said the blast was the handiwork of naxalites and termed it as a “cowardly act”.

“Chief Minister is completely safe,” he said after holding a meeting of ministers here to review the situation.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spoke to Mr Naidu in Tirupati and enquired about his health as political parties condemned the attack. — PTI


Alert sounded

New Delhi, October 1
The Ministry of Home Affairs today issued an advisory to all states, particularly those facing the Naxalite problem, to take effective steps to deal with acts of terror. — TNS

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