Nearly eight months after the brutal attack that wiped out the top leadership of the Congress in Chhattisgarh, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is said to have made the first breakthrough and identified two CPI (Maoist) commanders who led the attack. The duo were identified as Surender, head of Darbha divisional committee, and Jailal, incharge of second regional command company of CPI (Maoist), officials said.
The attack on the Congress convoy on May 25, 2013 resulted in 27 deaths, including that of former state minister Mahender Karma and Chhattisgarh Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel. Senior Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla later succumbed to injuries.
The NIA, while probing the killings, had recently questioned CPI (Maoist) spokesperson G V K Prasad alias Gudsa Usendi who had surrendered before the Andhra Police.
Sources said that Usendi is believed to have named Surender and Jailal who headed a team of nearly 200-250 Naxals with the aim to kill Karma. Soon after the May 25 incident, Usendi took the responsibility of the attack and investigators believe he is aware about the plot and persons involved.
Sources in the agency also said that after the verification of the claims made by Usendi, the NIA will approach the court to get a warrant for the CPI (Maoist) leaders. Surender and Jailal, both have been learnt to have been given a promotion soon after the attack, officials said.
While giving the details of the attack, Usendi said that the CPI (Maoist) only wanted to kill Karma but after they cornered the convoy, the cadres became violent which resulted in death of others. As per the accounts given by the spokesperson, nearly 250 cadres were trained for three days ahead of the attack. Surender, who led the attack, divided the group into four sub-groups which also included Naxals from Orissa who were part of the jan-militia. However, the inner cordon consisted of Naxals from Chhattisgarh. Usendi is also learnt to have given sleuths details into the functioning of the CPI (Maoist) and names of all the top leaders who call the shots. Usendi may be cited as witness in the Darbha attack case as he was the one who signed the press statement owning the killings.
The NIA also examined two alleged Maoists arrested by the Orissa police last year. However, officials said the two were not aware of the details of the plot.