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Chhattisgarh HC directs state to handover probe to NIA in BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi murder

Barely two days before the first phase of polling in Bastar Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP MLA and four policemen were killed in a powerful IED blast triggered by the Naxals at Dantewada on April 9.

Published: 20th November 2019 07:43 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th November 2019 07:43 PM   |  A+A-

The office of the National Investigation Agency in New Delhi.

The office of the National Investigation Agency in New Delhi. (File | AFP)

Express News Service

RAIPUR: In a major setback to the Congress-ruled Chhattisgarh government, the high court on Wednesday directed the state to handover over the reports of inquiry into the killing of the BJP legislator Bheema Mandavi to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which will now probe into it.

A division bench headed by the Chief Justice PR Ramachandra Menon and Justice PP Sahu hearing the government’s review petition had dismissed it and upheld the high court’s single judge order.

The court of Justice R C Samant had directed the state government to hand over the probe and investigation files to the NIA.

“The bone of contention is the state government’s assertion that it had almost completed the probe therefore NIA is not required. If NIA takes over, then the Chhattisgarh police will be seen as useless in the country and will stand to lose its face. The state couldn't give satisfactorily reply when the court asked who then is the accused if the investigation is nearly completed. The Centre’s order for NIA probe into Mandavi case on May 17 too doesn’t reflect or mention any such thing like the failure of the state police. We simply emphasised a valid law on the basis of which the ministry of home affairs passed its order for NIA inquiry,” affirmed Kishore Bhaduri, counsel for the NIA.

Meanwhile, chief minister Bhupesh Baghel said that the state will challenge the court’s order in the Supreme Court.

Barely two days before the first phase of polling in Bastar Lok Sabha constituency, the BJP MLA and four policemen were killed in a powerful IED blast triggered by the Naxals at Dantewada on April 9.

The Bhupesh Baghel government is apparently reluctant to pass on the investigation to the NIA.

Chhattisgarh had earlier asked the Centre twice to reconsider its decision on NIA probe claiming that the case is being investigated by the state police and the process already reached an advance stage.

The state government has also ordered a judicial probe into the Dantewada incident and on this pretext cited that the files couldn’t be delivered to the NIA, following which the latter approached the high court against the government.

The state BJP suspecting the killing of the party MLA Mandavi as a conspiracy had always demanded a CBI inquiry into it.



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