Chhattisgarh CM Inaugurates Memorial of Jhiram Valley Naxal Attack Victims, Claims BJP Obstructing Efforts to Expose Conspiracy Behind Incident

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday unveiled a memorial built in the memory of Congress leaders and others killed in a Naxal attack in the Jhiram valley of Bastar district in 2013 and accused the BJP of trying to hamper the state government’s efforts to unearth the conspiracy behind the attack. Baghel also unfurled the national flag on a 100-feet-high flag post at the memorial site.

On May 25, 2013, Maoists attacked a convoy of Congress leaders in the Jhiram valley during the party’s ‘Parivartan Rally’ ahead of the Assembly elections, killing 32 people, including the then state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, former leader of opposition Mahendra Karma and former Union minister Vidyacharan Shukla.

The memorial, named ‘Jhiram Ghati Shaheed Smarak’, has been built in Lalbagh area of Jagdalpur, the headquarters of Bastar district, where statues of politicians and security personnel killed in the attack have been installed.

Talking to reporters on the sidelines of the function, Baghel accused the BJP of trying to hamper the state Congress government’s efforts to unearth the conspiracy behind the tragic attack. In the last nine years, we tried our best to bring the facts to light as you all know it was a political and criminal conspiracy. But, they (BJP) kept on trying to stall our efforts, the CM claimed.

The National Investigation Agency’s probe into the incident was not satisfactory. When we started a fresh police investigation to probe the conspiracy angle and demanded the case back (from the NIA), the BJP-led government at the Centre denied it. The NIA reached the high court against the fresh police probe, he said. He claimed that BJP leaders here have also been trying to pose hindrances in the proceedings of the judicial commission probing the attack. “The scope of the judicial panel was expanded in November last year by restructuring it. Leader of Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik recently moved the HC against the judicial panel probe, the chief minister said. Baghel further said it is required to know who were behind this (incident), and wondered why all these hindrances were being created. He also interacted with the families of some of those who were killed in the Jhiram attack.

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