Published On: Fri, Nov 29th, 2019

NIA arrests 2013 Sukma attack mastermind

New Delhi: Six years after 26 Congress leaders were killed in a Maoist attack in Chhattisgarh’s Darbha valley in Sukma district, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested one absconding Maoist allegedly responsible for executing the attack.

Of the 21 people, 17 are from Kasargode district in the northern tip of Kerala

At least 26 people were killed in one of the worst Maoist attacks

An NIA spokesperson in a statement said it has arrested absconding accused Sumitra aka Sumitra Punem, a resident of Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district, who was involved in attacking a convoy of Congress leaders and workers.

The NIA identified her as Puspal, ‘Dalam Commander’ who was a team member of Darbha Division Committee of the CPI (Maoist) formation in Chhattisgarh which “executed the attack on the Congress leaders”.

The case relates to the attack on a convoy of Congress leaders and workers by CPI (Maoist) on May 25, 2013, in the hilly areas of Darbha valley in Sukma district. At least 26 people were killed in one of the worst Maoist attacks.

Former state minister Mahendra Karma and Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel were among the killed. Former Union minister and senior Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla, who was seriously injured in the attack, succumbed to his injuries on June 11, 2013.

The NIA had chargesheeted absconding accused in the case which it took over in May 2013 under several sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

A chargesheet was filed on September 25, 2014 followed by a supplementary chargesheet on September 28, 2019 against 39 accused.

Out of the 39, 10 were arrested, two were killed in encounters with security forces and 27 are absconding.

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