(Pooja Pal; Intern Journalist): Raipur: 25th May, the day that brings back memories of a fierce bloody struggle with him every year. One of the country’s biggest internal attacks, the Jhiram murder case. In the Bastar area of Chhattisgarh, this Naxal incident seven years ago left everyone shocked.
On the evening of 25 May 2013, 32 people lost their lives in this attack. Most of the top leaders of the Chhattisgarh Congress who lost their lives in the attack were whose memories are left among us today. This was the second-largest Maoist attack in the country. The attack took place on the Congress’ Parivartan Yatra in Jhiram Valley of the Darbha area of Bastar district.
The attack was termed as supari killing by the Congress. On Saturday, CM Bhupesh Baghel announced to celebrate this Jhiram Valley Martyrdom Day across the state. We are going to celebrate the seventh anniversary of this incident, but even today, many truths of this heinous massacre have not been revealed. What was the reason behind the execution of this incident, none is aware of any clue.
On May 25, 2013, it was around 5 pm when amidst the scorching heat, people were sitting in their homes and offices under fans, coolers, and air conditioners. Meanwhile, suddenly a piece of news came on TV. A Maoist attack took place about 1.5 hours ago in Jhiram Valley of Sukma district of Chhattisgarh. Even today, Maoist violence still occurs here today, but this incident was more frightening and horrific than those incidents.
The update news came about 15 minutes after the initial news came. It was reported in the news that in the Maoist attack many people including Congress leaders Mahendra Karma and Nand Kumar Patel, known as Bastar Tiger, have been killed. Vidyacharan Shukla’s condition is critical.
After this, the scope of the news gradually increased. At 10 o’clock in the night when it was reported that a total of 32 people had been killed in the attack, people were finding it difficult to trust this news. One by one, the names of those killed in the incident started appearing. Among them were those who were the leaders of the first line of Chhattisgarh Pradesh Congress at that time. This was the second-largest Naxal attack in the country’s history. May 25th would be the 7th anniversary of this attack.
Even though the incident occurred 7 years ago, its wounds are still fresh today. The investigation of the incident was stuck for a long time and then after the Congress government came to power in the state, its investigation file has been reopened. Some Naxalite leaders were named in the incident, on which the NIA has also announced a cash reward, but most of them have not been caught except a few.
Assembly elections were to be held in the state in November 2013. Showing solidarity by overcoming mutual internecine, Congress was carrying out Parivartan Yatra in the state. All the senior leaders of the Pradesh Congress(then) were involved in this visit. This journey of Congress through different areas was going through the stronghold of Naxalites. On 25 May, the then President of State Congress Nandkumar Patel, his son Dinesh Patel, along with veteran Congressman Vidyacharan, Shukla, Bastar Tiger Mahendra Karma, and many other leaders were traveling.
After a meeting in Sukma district, all the leaders left the convoy for the next stop along with the security squad. Nandkumar Patel, his son Dinesh Patel and Kavasi Lakhma (currently Minister of Excise in the state) were leading the convoy with security guards. Some other leaders including Malkit Singh Gaidu and Bastar Tiger Mahendra Karma were in the rear car. Uday Mudaliar, the then Congress in-charge of Bastar, was following this vehicle along with some other leaders.
Senior Congress leader Vidyacharan Shukla was accompanied by two NSUI leaders Devendra Yadav (now an MLA from Bhilai) and Nikhil Kumar. This entire convoy consisted of about 50 people. At 3.50 pm, the convoy reached the Jhiram Valley surrounded by thick forests. Suddenly, gunshots from both sides started echoing. Maoists became the first target of the vehicle leading the convoy.
In this incident, the present PCC President Nandkumar Patel and his son Dinesh died on the spot. After this, the sound of continuous gunfire started echoing in the Jhiram Valley. The bullets continued to rain for about an hour. The orgy of death was continuing. One by one the vehicles of the convoy kept coming under this firing. Hundreds of Naxalites were indiscriminately firing bullets in high hills on both sides of the valley. The firing stopped after about 1 hour. By now this news had spread through the media through the country. When the security forces reached the spot, only the corpses were scattered at a distance.
On one hand, senior Congress leader Vidyacharan was lying in an injured state. Many big leaders including Mahendra Karma, Nandkumar Patel, Dinesh Patel, Uday Mudaliar were killed in the attack. Pictures of that dreaded manger were now visible on TV and news portals. By nightfall, a wave of mourning raged across the state. The full story of the incident was now clear. No one had even guessed that the Maoists could carry out such a big incident in Chhattisgarh, but this was a bitter truth.
The injured Vidyacharan left this world after being in a coma for about 2 months. A total of 32 people along with several leaders were killed in the incident. Today, this blood poisoning incident has completed 7 years. The investigation of the case is still going on, but till now the whole case has not been revealed. The story inside this development is still unresolved.