The marks of the attack 11 years ago have vanished, but the pain remains; the area is now peaceful, but there is a storm in hearts

The Uncut

Jagdalpur. The way the Naxalites carried out the bloody game in Jheeram of Darbha block on the evening of 25 May 2013, has made this incident of Naxal terror famous not only in the country and the state but also in the entire world. In this incident, many big leaders of Congress including Bastar Tiger Mahendra Karma, former Home Minister Nandkumar Patel, former Union Minister Vidyacharan Shukla were killed. This bloody game of Naxalites took place near the divisional headquarters, which proved to be a black chapter in the history of Bastar. At that time there was a BJP government in the state and Congress’s UPA government at the center. Saturday will complete 11 years since the incident took place, but the real culprits who killed more than 30 political leaders, police personnel and common citizens are out of reach. In these 11 years, there has not been much change in the condition of Jheeram village located on the national highway. People are still in poverty, misery and pitiable condition. However, the area has progressed a little in the direction of development. Jheeram area was considered the most dangerous because Naxalites had absolute rule over Tulsidongri from where they used to rule Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Naxal rule was in a way quite strong in this area. 11 years have passed since the incident, but the fear still persists. Peace has come in the area, shiny paved roads have been built up to the village, with the construction of roads many problems automatically get reduced. Electricity, water, ration, school, Anganwadi, everything is easily available to the people in the village.

After the Jhiram incident, Jhiram-1 and Jhiram-2 camps have been opened on the national highway near the incident site and further ahead in Sukma district. These camps are still established, where soldiers are performing duty day and night. The same silence during the day and those who pass by at night feel the fearful scene of 11 years ago. However, even today sensible people avoid passing through this route, especially those associated with politics. After the opening of the camp in Chandameta, the work of Naxalites of coming to Chhattisgarh from Odisha, committing crimes and then going back to Odisha has stopped. With the construction of roads to Naxal-affected highly sensitive villages like Koleng and Elangnar, the ray of development has reached these villages and the surrounding areas.

Why not use top investigative agencies

Bastar MLA Lakheshwar Baghel said that Congress has lost its top leaders in the Jhiram incident. It is unfortunate that 11 years have passed since the incident and still the whole truth has not come out. There are big investigation agencies in the country, it is a matter of concern that they are not being used in the investigation of the Jhiram incident. Every person in Bastar wants the real culprit to be behind bars, but it is unfortunate that this has not happened. An investigation was conducted during the Bhupesh government, despite which what happened has not been revealed. I was also among those who survived the Jhiram incident. Apart from me, many Congressmen had survived, everyone wants the truth to come out.

Still hoping…

In the Jheeram incident on 25 May 2013, many prominent leaders of Chhattisgarh, including Bastar’s most powerful leader Mahendra Karma, lost their lives. The families who lost their loved ones are still saddened by the fact that the real culprit is still out of reach in 11 years. Apart from the NIA and SIT investigations, people are unaware of what happened in the local police investigation. Overall, who carried out the Jheeram incident, who was behind it and why the big Naxalite leaders who were involved in it were not caught, this question is still in the minds of the people.

Naxalite movement is negligible

Bastar SP Shalabh Sinha said that for the last two years, there has been almost no Naxal movement in Jheeram area. Naxal incidents have reduced due to the opening of the camp and the force being constantly active in this area. Development has reached the Naxal-affected villages, so there is an atmosphere of peace in the area. There is no information about any kind of Naxal movement in all the Naxal-affected villages of Darbha block including the National Highway.

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