The Chhattisgarh government led by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, on Wednesday, ordered a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe in connection to the 2013 Jhiram Ghati Maoist attack in Bastar district of the state. The Jhiram Valley Maoist attack claimed at least 29 lives including state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, Vidya Charan Shukla, Mahendra Karma and several other frontline leaders from the party. Thirty-two people, including 20 policemen, who were accompanying the Congress convoy were also injured in the attack. An order issued by Director General of Police DM Awasthi said the 10-member SIT panel will be headed by Inspector General of police, Bastar Range, Vivekanand Sinha.
"Chhattisgarh government orders SIT probe in 2013 Jhiram Ghati Naxal attack in which 29 people including Congress leaders had died," the news agency ANI reported.
Chhattisgarh government orders SIT probe in 2013 Jhiram ghati Naxal attack in which 29 people including Congress leaders had died. pic.twitter.com/oKYyaVPEVt— ANI (@ANI) January 2, 2019
Around 250 Naxals in civilian clothes struck a convoy of Congress leaders during the party's Parivartan Rally in Chhattisgarh's Jagdalpur. The convoy was on its way back from Sukma to Jagdalpur.
The development came days after Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel took over the office in December 2018. Earlier, Baghel dubbed the attack a "policies conspiracy", adding that the BJP government did not investigate the matter properly. In Chhattisgarh, the Congress alleged that party leaders were not provided adequate security by the BJP dispensation despite Naxal threats.
Though the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had earlier probed the attack, it did not cover the conspiracy angle.
Hours after taking oath as the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister, Baghel announced his three key decisions in the state which include farm loan waiver, MSP hike and the SIT probe in 2013 Jhiram Valley Maoist attack. Hailing from Kurmi OBC community, Baghel became the third chief minister of Chhattisgarh. On December 11, Congress swept the heartland state with wins in 68 out of the 90 Assembly constituencies.