NIA files chargesheet in murder of Chhattisgarh MLA Mandavi

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By: PTI | Raipur | October 2, 2020 12:55:22 pm

Chhattisgarh BJP MLA murder, Chhattisgarh MLA murder, Dantewada MLA murder, Bheema Mandavi murder, India news, Indian ExpressDuring the investigation, the NIA arrested six accused who had allegedly provided shelter, food, logistic support, electric wires and steel containers to the Naxalites involved in the attack.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed its charge-sheet in the killing of a BJP MLA and four policemen in a Naxal attack last year in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, in a special court in Jagdalpur, officials said on Friday.

The charge-sheet, which names 33 accused, out of which six have been arrested and five others have died, was filed before the NIA court in Jagdalpur, the headquarters of Bastar district on Thursday, a statement issued by the NIA said.

District and Sessions Judge Suman Ekka is presiding over the special court.

On April 9 last year, Bheema Mandavi, then the sitting BJP MLA from Dantewada, and four personnel of the Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) were killed after Maoists blew up their vehicle with an IED near Shyamgiri village under the Kuakonda police station area of Dantewada, it said.

The arms and ammunition of the slain security personnel were also looted by the Naxals, the central agency added. A case under relevant sections of the IPC, the Arms Act, the Explosive Substances Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, was registered at the Kuakonda police station and subsequently, the NIA re-registered the case on May 17 last year after taking over the probe, the release said.

However, the actual investigation of the case could be taken over only on March 17 this year due to certain legal issues raised by Chhattisgarh Government, it said.

“With no clues available initially, a breakthrough was achieved in the case after examining several witnesses, surrendered Naxals and rigorous technical analysis, an official said.

During the investigation, the NIA arrested six accused Madka Ram Tati, Bhima Ram Tati, Linge Tati, Laxman Jaiswal, Ramesh Kumar Kashyap and Haripal Singh Chauhan, all residents of Dantewada district, who had allegedly provided shelter, food, logistic support, electric wires and steel containers to the Naxalites involved in the attack, he said.

While 22 accused are still at large, five others have already died, it said.

Investigation established that the decision to kill Mandavi was taken at Maoists Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee (DKSZC) level meeting held in December 2018 in West Bastar.

“Later, another meeting, at the Darbha Division Committee level, was held in the end of February 2019 in the Gonderas Forest area of Dantewada, which was chaired by Giri Reddy alias Shyam alias Chaitu, a DKSZC member and In-charge of Darbha Division, the statement said.

During the meeting, as part of Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC- being run by Maoist in summer), it was decided to kill Mandavi, along with other political leaders, police personnel and disrupt the election process, it said.

Chhattisgarh assembly polls were held in end-2018.

Bada Deva alias Barse Sukka, Secretary of Darbha Division Committee, was made overall In-charge to carry out the objectives of TCOC.

“Under the leadership of Deva, cadres of outlawed CPI (Maoist) were mobilised and an IED on the Nakulnar- Bacheli road was placed near Shyamgiri village where the annual fair was being organised.

The place was pre-decided because the Maoist leaders believed that prominent political leaders, including Mandavi would attend the annual fair scheduled on April 9 last year, it said.

The NIA investigation also established that top leadership of CPI (Maoist), namely Nambala Keshava Rao alias Gaganna alias Basavraj (general secretary of the CPI(Maoist) and secretary of the Central Committee), was actively involved in the conspiracy along with senior Maoist figures, the release said.

Further investigation in the case is underway, it added.

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