NIA arrests Maoist for 2013 attack on Congress convoy
New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday arrested a senior commander of the banned CPI(Maoist) for her role in a fatal attack on a Congress convoy in 2013 in Chhattisgarh. Sumitra Punem was allegedly involved in the May 2013 attack in the Darbha Valley in which 27 persons, including senior leader Mahendra Karma, were killed.
According to NIA, Punem is a local organisation squad commander and was a part of the Darbha division committee of CPI (Maoist) which executed the attack. Twenty-six other Maoists are still wanted in the case.
On May 25, 2013, about 100-150 cadres of Maoists had targeted a Congress convoy in Jheeram Ghati in Darbha with bombs, grenades and indiscriminate firing as a part of organisation’s tactical counter offensive campaign.
The NIA charge sheet says that the outfit got a tip-off about a possible movement of Congress leaders as a part of Parivartan Yatra. A senior NIA officer, requesting anonymity, said Punem had played a key role in the attack and its planning. “She had been absconding since 2013,” he added.
“She mobilized the cadres, Jan Militias, and villagers of Darbha area and arranged the logistics for the Maoists,” he said.
Earlier, the agency had filed charge sheets against senior Maoists’ commanders like Surender, who headed the Darbha division committee, Barse Sukka, Hapka Manoj, Tippiri Tirupati, Kishore Korram and Modiyam Ramesh.