RAIPUR: Even as the Centre and the Chhattisgarh government seems at odds over National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the killing of BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi in the Maoist attack, the high court has halted the investigation by the state police into the incident.
A single bench of Justice Prashant Mishra hearing the petition filed by the NIA stayed the police probe into the April 9 Maoist attack that killed Mandavi and four police personnel in Dantewada. The court further granted two weeks to the state government to file its response before it.
“Under the Section 6 under the NIA Act, 2008 the central agency is empowered to handle cases related to terrorism or Maoists. Once the notification is issued in favour of the NIA, the local police shouldn't interfere, as per the law. The local police that carried out the investigated refused to handover the case documents and relevant contents to the NIA following which it approached the Dantewada sessions court but didn’t get any relief”, said the NIA’s counsel Kishore Bhaduri.
The NIA later moved the high court seeking stay on the police probe into the attack. “The high court granted it. The state government was given two weeks to file its reply”, Bhaduri stated.
On the order of the union home ministry previous month, the NIA has gone ahead to investigate the Dantewada's Maoist attack. The central agency registered a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Indian Arms Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in connection with the attack.
The Chhattisgarh government had asked the Centre to reconsider its decision to hand over the case to the NIA. The state DGP maintained that the case has been investigated by the police and now it remains in an advanced stage. The Bhupesh Baghel government has also ordered a judicial probe into the Dantewada incident.
Meanwhile, the NIA has so far not responded to the request sent twice by the state this year to share its probe report on the audacious Maoist attack on Congress convoy at Jhiram valley (Bastar) in 2013.