RAIPUR, India, May 28 (UPI) -- Indian Naxalite Maoists have attacked a Congress Party convoy in Bastar in Chhattisgarh.
Several Congress Party leaders died in the attack, among them Mahendra Karma, who founded the SalwaJudum the anti-Naxalite campaign. Chhattisgarh Police reported that 17 were killed in the assault and several injured.
Among the wounded parliamentarians was former Union minister and ex-Madhya Pradesh Congress member Vidya Charan Shukla, who was shot three times and seriously injured.
Shukla was first taken to a hospital in Jagdalpur and airlifted to Raipur, where doctors described his condition as "very critical," The Times News Network reported.
Local leaders said Congress Party Vice President Rahul Gandhi was traveling to Raipur before Shukla is shifted to New Delhi by an air ambulance.
Reports said 150-200 Maoists, both men and women, attacked the convoy of around 20 vehicles on the Bastar-Sukma national highway.
Several witnesses said that they saw Karma killed, with one noting, "Maoists first asked who is Mahendra Karma ... and as he came out of the vehicle with his hands up, Maoists beat him up with their rifles and then fired 10-15 bullets at him."