Maoists on Tuesday defended the May 25 ambush of the Congress convoy in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. They detailed why they attacked senior Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla, who on Tuesday died in a Gurgaon hospital of wounds sustained in the attack.

In a four-page document mailed to The Hindu, Maoists wrote four lines about Mr. Shukla. “… the former Central Minister V.C. Shukla who had been in various portfolios including Home Ministry, was also a people’s enemy who had acted as a loyal servant of imperialists, comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie, landlords and had played a key role in formulating and implementing exploitative government policies,” said the CPI (Maoist) State committee statement.

“V.C. Shukla’s death should be seen as a result of violence committed by the exploiters on the exploited mass,” it said.

The release also said both “the Congress and the BJP” were equally responsible for the death of thousands of tribal people. “All leaders like V.C. Shukla or Nand Kumar Patel are responsible for the death of tribals,” the release said.

Regretting the “unnecessary death” of some civilians, CPI (Maoist) State committee spokesperson Gudsa Usendi said that “while the party would learn lessons from the ambush and educate its cadres and the people … it would be unjust to raise questions about the people’s resistance altogether.”

Various civil rights organisations, including the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Chhattisgarh, questioned the Maoist action and appealed to state forces and Naxalites to shun violence. “This situation requires the urgent intervention of all democratic forces in the country …,” a PUCL statement said.