POLITICS

Bhupesh Baghel cries foul over Maoist attack asks whom does Centre want to save?

After the judicial commission probing the 2013 Maoist attack in Jhiram Ghati submitted its report directly to Governor Anusuiya Uikey, Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel cried foul. The then Raman Singh-led BJP government had constituted an inquiry commission headed by former Chhattisgarh High Court judge Prashant Kumar Mishra to probe this dastardly attack. Speaking to the media on Monday, Baghel claimed that protocol was not followed and expressed surprise at the fact that the report was submitted suddenly despite the panel seeking an extension for the completion of the probe. 

Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel was quoted as saying by PTI, “The judicial commission to probe the Jhiram valley Naxal attack was constituted on May 28, 2013, and it was to submit its findings in a period of three months. Since then, the time limit to submit the report had been extended 20 times till now. In June this year, an extension was given for the last time, but in September, the commission’s secretary again sought extension citing the investigation was yet to be concluded, (though) permission (for term extension) was yet to be accorded.”

On this occasion, he also accused the Centre of hindering the SIT investigation constituted by the state government by not handing over a key file. Baghel added, “Whom does the central government want to save? Which facts do they want to hide? The Congress had raised questions over the NIA probe as the statements of those who were at the spot at the time of the attack were not recorded. Why did the agency not probe the conspiracy angle in the attack”? Earlier, the Chhattisgarh CM described the 2013 Maoist attack as a “political-criminal conspiracy”. 

As per protocol, whenever a judicial commission is constituted the panel submits its report to govt & with an action-taken report, it should be tabled at legislative assembly:Chhattisgarh CM on 2013 Jhiram Valley Naxal attack report submitted to Governor by the inquiry commission pic.twitter.com/h2rmKxh7KB

— ANI (@ANI) November 8, 2021

The 2013 Maoist attack in Jhiram Ghati

At least 27 persons were killed in the Jhiram Ghati on May 25, 2013, when a Congress convoy that was travelling to attend the Parivartan Yatra was attacked by Maoists. Former External Affairs Minister Vidya Charan Shukla, the former leader of opposition in the state Mahendra Karma, then the Chhattisgarh Congress Pradesh Committee president Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh Kumar Patel, and other Congress leaders including Uday Mudaliyar and Gopi Madhwani were among the people killed. While the Chhattisgarh police filed a case against unknown members of CPI(Maoist), the Union Home Ministry soon handed over the probe to the NIA.

After forming the government in 2018, the Bhupesh Baghel-led Congress government announced the formation of a Special Investigation Agency citing that the NIA had failed to properly investigate the conspiracy part. However, the MHA refused permission to transfer the case saying that the central agency had already filed a charge sheet and the trial was ongoing. Though Uday Mudaliyar’s son Jitendra filed a police complaint in Bastar in connection with this case, the NIA got a stay on the FIR from the High Court on the grounds that two agencies cannot investigate the same case. 

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