In a significant development, Chhattisgarh government has urged the Centre to review its decision to order a probe by National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the April 9 killing of local BJP MLA Bheema Mandavi in south Bastar district of Dantewada by Naxals. In a letter written to the Centre recently, the Bhupesh Baghel government argued against a NIA probe into the ghastly incident, saying that the state has already ordered a judicial probe into it; a senior officer in Chhattisgarh home department told this newspaper on Tuesday, requesting not to be quoted. The Chhattisgarh government’s stand opposing NIA probe into the incident has not only raised many eyebrows in the political circle in Chhattisgarh, but also threatened to trigger a confrontation between Centre and state.
Incidentally, the NIA had earlier quietly taken over probe into the sensational murder of the BJP MLA catching Chhattisgarh government off guard. The National Investigation Agency probe into the case came close on the heels of widow of the slain legislator smelling conspiracy in the incident and declaring that she had no faith in the probe by a state government agency. Nearly five weeks after the incident, Ministry of Home Affairs on May 16 directed NIA to enquire into the case. Accordingly, the NIA registered a FIR in the NIA police station in Delhi on May 17 in this connection.