HC stays probe into Jheeram Ghati massacre


Bilaspur, May 11 (UNI) The Chhattisgarh High Court on Wednesday stayed further action by a two-member commission of inquiry constituted by the Bhupesh Baghel dispensation for probing into the May 25, 2013 Jheeram Ghati bloodbath, which is counted among the deadliest Naxal assaults in the history of independent India as it resulted in the deaths of about 30 people -- comprising Congress leaders and security personnel -- within Left-wing extremism-affected Bastar division. A division bench headed by Chief Justice Arup Kumar Goswami issued the ruling while accepting a petition by the Assembly's Leader of the Opposition Dharamlal Kaushik whose counsels questioned the commission's very legality and submitted that it is erroneous to form a fresh panel without tabling the report of the single-member Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra (since superannuated) commission, which was proffered to the Governor about eight years after the incident. The Baghel government incorporated certain new points and directed retired justices Satish Agnihotri and Gulam Minhajuddin to focus on them. Those killed at Jheeram Ghati included the then Congress state President Nand Kumar Patel, erstwhile Union minister Vidya Charan Shukla and former Leader of the Opposition Mahendra Karma.