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Congress pushes for SIT probe into Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh’s Jheerum Valley – india news


Amid a tug-of-war between the Centre and Chhattisgarh government over a fresh case registered by the state police last month in connection with the Jheerum valley ambush by Maoists in 2013, the ruling Congress party in the state asked why the BJP “was afraid of an SIT probe” into the attack.

It also alleged a nexus between the opposition BJP and left wing extremists and asked why the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is trying to take over the probe into a fresh FIR lodged last month by Jitendra Mudliyar, son of Uday Mudliyar who was killed in the Jheerum attack.

In one of the biggest hits on politicians, Maoists had attacked a convoy of Congress leaders during the party’s ‘Parivartan Rally’ in Jheerum valley on May 25, 2013, killing 27 people. Among the victims were the then state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, former leader of opposition Mahendra Karma and former union minister Vidya Charan Shukla who died of injuries a few days later.

“Several incidents have come to light in the past that indicate BJP had been working hand-in-glove with the Maoists”, state’s Agriculture Minister Ravindra Choubey and Forest Minister Mohammad Akbar alleged in a joint press conference.

Recently a BJP leader was arrested in Dantewada on charges of helping Maoists, Choubey said citing other similar instances.

The ministers asked why the BJP was scared of a probe into a “conspiracy angle” into the Jhiram incident.

“The BJP does not want the conspiracy angle into the Jhiram attack to be probed. After the NIA took over the probe, they declared Maoist leaders Ganpati and Ramanna as absconders in March 2014 and released information about confiscating their properties in the media. But surprisingly, the names of the two leaders were not mentioned in the charge sheet filed by the NIA in September that year. The NIA investigation into the case derailed after the NDA government came to power in 2014,” they claimed.

The conspiracy angle was not even in the terms of reference of the probe Commission set up by the previous BJP government into the incident. The previous government in the state also ignored the demand for a CBI enquiry into the incident, the ministers claimed.

After the Congress came to power, it constituted a special investigation team to probe the incident and sought the final report of the case from the NIA so that conspiracy angle can be investigated. But the NIA refused to share any documents with the SIT claiming that the probe was incomplete even as the status of the case on its website showed the probe was completed, Akbar said.

Last month, Jitendra Mudliyar lodged a fresh case at Darbha police station seeking to probe the conspiracy angle into the incident. Subsequently, the NIA which works under the Union government, filed an application before the special court (Jagdalpur) on June 16 seeking to take over the probe into the fresh case, he said.

The two ministers alleged that the Jheerum attack was a contract killing and asked why the NIA is trying to take over the probe into the new case.

Leader of Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik rubbished the allegations and asked the Congress to submit any evidence it had.

“When the Jhiram valley incident had taken place, UPA was in power at the Centre. NIA conducted its investigation according to the points of investigation fixed by the then UPA rule. Hence, the Congress should have faith on the investigation conducted by the NIA”, Kahusik said.

He asked the Congress to be patient and have faith in the investigation.

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