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Chhattisgarh Police Will Investigate Larger Conspiracy Angle In Jheeram Valley Attack: CM Baghel

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against the Chhattisgarh Police probe into an FIR alleging larger conspiracy in the Jheeram Ghati Naxal attack.

Chhattisgarh CM Bhupesh Baghel
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Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Tuesday said the Supreme Court's judgement has cleared the path for the Chhattisgarh police to conduct a probe into larger conspiracy angle in the 2013 Jheeram Ghati Naxal attack.

Twenty nine people, including leaders of the state Congress unit, were killed in the attack.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) against the Chhattisgarh Police probe into an FIR alleging larger conspiracy in the Jheeram Ghati Naxal attack.

A bench of SC's Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra dismissed the NIA's plea and said "Sorry, we would not like to interfere. Dismissed."'

Later, Baghel in a post on X said hailed the SC's decision and said it is like opening the door of justice for Chhattisgarh. 

"The Jheeram incident was the biggest political massacre in the world's democracy wherein we lost 32 people including senior Congress leaders,” he said.

The NIA investigated it, a commission also investigated it, but no one investigated the "larger political conspiracy" behind the incident, the CM said. 

"When Chhattisgarh Police started the investigation, NIA approached the court to disrupt it. Today the path has been cleared. Now Chhattisgarh Police will investigate this. Who had hatched what conspiracy with whom? Everything will become clear. Once again a tribute to the martyrs of Jheeram,” Baghel said in the post.

On May 25, 2013, Naxals attacked a convoy of Congress leaders at Jheeram valley in Darbha area of Bastar district, killing 29 people, including then state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son, former leader of opposition Mahendra Karma and former Union minister Vidyacharan Shukla.

The deadly ambush by heavily armed Naxals had taken place when political campaigning for the then assembly elections was on and Congress leaders were returning after taking part in a ‘Parivartan rally’ in Bastar district.

The Bastar police then lodged an FIR into the incident at Darbha police station and the NIA subsequently took over the probe into it.

After completing its investigation, the NIA had filed the charge-sheet in which the trial commenced.

On May 26, 2020, another FIR was lodged under Indian Penal Code sections 302 (murder) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) in at Darbha police station in which complainant Jitendra Mudliyar, a Congress leader, sought a probe into the larger conspiracy angle in the incident.

Mudliyar is the son of Congress leader Uday Mudliyar, who was also killed in the Jheeram valley attack.

The NIA later filed an application in a special (NIA) court in Jagdalpur seeking to issue directions to Bastar police not to proceed in the investigation into the fresh FIR and hand over all documents pertaining to the second FIR to the central agency.

However, the special court rejected the NIA's application in 2020 following which the agency approached the HC, which also rejected its plea last year. 

The NIA subsequently moved the Supreme Court.

-With PTI Input

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