A video of one of the Doordarshan journalists who came under attack from Maoists in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district surfaced on Wednesday.
In the video, Mormukut Sharma, 35, a lighting assistant, is seen recording himself to send a message to his mother as sound of gunfire and explosions are heard in the background.
Thinking that those were his last moments, Sharma shared his heart-wrenching ordeal while the attack was underway.
“Naxals have surrounded us suddenly. Mother, if I survive…mother, I love you a lot,” Sharma says as he looks into the video while lying prostrate on the ground.
“It might happen that I die in this attack. The situation is very tense. Don’t know why I am not afraid even as I stare at death,” he says as inaudible shouts of men can be heard in the background.
“It is difficult to survive. There are 6-7 jawans…surrounded on all sides. That is all I can say,” Sharma says before switching off the video.
Sharma survived the attack.
As the Police and Doordarshan team came under attack from Naxals, DD assistant cameraman recorded a message for his mother. pic.twitter.com/DwpjsT3klt
— Rahul Pandita (@rahulpandita) October 31, 2018
In another video shared by Aditya Raj Kaul, Sharma is heard asking for water from one of the jawans defending them from the attack.
Yet another video of the encounter site yesterday in Dantewada of Chattisgarh. Important to note that Govt needs to improve equipment and technological support to the district force as well as the CRPF. Forces too are sitting ducks in the interior jungles of Maoist corridor. pic.twitter.com/5pH0Joeds3
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) October 31, 2018
Sharing Sharma’s video on Twitter, Doordarshan said it salutes his “bravery and courage even in the face of death”.
Sharma was part of a three-member team from the state broadcaster that went to Chhattisgarh to cover the assembly elections scheduled to take place in November.
His colleague, cameraman Achyutanand Sahu, 30, was killed in the attack. Two police personnel who were among the team accompanying the journalists were killed immediately. A third cop succumbed to his injuries in the attack on Wednesday.
Prasar Bharati condoled Sahu’s death in a tweet posted yesterday. Many prominent politicians, cutting across party lines, also expressed grief at his death.
Dhiraj Kumar, another journalist from the national broadcaster who survived the attack, said the sound of bullets and grenades continued for 45 minutes after the attack as he lay in a ditch on the roadside.
The Doordarshan crew had recently arrived in Chhattisgarh for the coverage of the next month’s assembly elections.
Police said the attack took place near Nilawaya village, around 450 km from state capital Raipur. Over half-a-dozen districts, including Dantewada, are affected by Left-wing extremism in the state.