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Congress once again shields India’s enemies, insinuates recent Naxal encounter was fake: How it has been batting for Left-wing terrorists

“There have been fake encounters in Bhartiya Janata Party government. Arrests have been made. In the last four months, we have received information that there has been a rise in fake encounters and fake arrests of Adivasis labelling them Naxals have been carried out," Congress leader Bhupendra Baghel said in a press conference.

On 17th April, former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Bhupesh Baghel cast aspersions on the encounter of 29 Naxals in Kanker yesterday. The Congress leader said that the encounter was “fake” and claimed that the BJP government has ‘labelled’ many innocent villagers as Naxals and arrested or killed them in fake encounters.

“There have been fake encounters in Bhartiya Janata Party government. Arrests have been made. In the last four months, we have received information that there has been a rise in fake encounters and fake arrests of Adivasis labelling them Naxals have been carried out. Adivasi villagers are being threatened by the police that they will be falsely implicated and arrested in this or that cases. In Kawardha district as well, we have heard of such incidents,” Baghel said at a press meet in Kawardha on 16th April.

Bhupesh Baghel’s statement was severely criticised by the ruling BJP. Reacting to the Congress leader’s remarks, Chhattisgarh Deputy CM Vijay Sharma said, “It is sad to hear that the former Chief Minister of the state, Bhupesh Baghel yesterday said that the encounter is fake. What does this mean? The soldiers whom I have seen, have they been falsely injured? All the weapons that have been recovered, are they fake? All the Naxals wearing uniforms have been killed, is this fake? Now saying this and changing the subject again is very wrong….”

On Wednesday, despite the outrage, Baghel doubled down in his attacks on BJP, and said, “The encounter which happened earlier in Kanker was fake. How much evidence does he need? We will give all the evidence (of fake encounters) from now and Raman Singh’s tenure…”

As reported earlier, 29 Naxals were killed and three security personnel sustained injuries on 16th April in an encounter that broke out in Kanker of Chhattisgarh’s Bastar. The police said that along with a huge cache of AK 47 rifles, INSAS/SLR/Carbine/.303 rifles and huge quantities of arms ammunition, were recovered from the spot. 

Earlier this month, thirteen Naxal terrorists including a woman were reportedly killed in an encounter with security personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur

Union Home Minister Amit Shah lauded security personnel on Wednesday for their anti-Maoist operations in Kanker. Amit Shah stated that security forces had remarkable success in the state. He said that the BJP government has undertaken a fight against Naxalism and terrorism since Narendra Modi became prime minister. “We started setting up camps in 2014,” Amit Shah stated.

Meanwhile, Congress’s motormouth spokesperson Supriya Srinate went a step ahead to appease the Naxals and called the 29 Naxal terrorists killed in Kanker encounter as “Shaheed” (martyr). Ironically, Srinate called the slain Naxalites as ‘martyrs’ while saying her party would not do politics on this issue.

“No, I don’t want to do any politics on this. I think a thorough investigation should be conducted in this [Kanker encounter]. And all those who martyred (Shaheed) and also our security personnel were injured, our [Congress] sympathies are with all of them,” Shrinate said.

Congress leaders are projecting Naxal terrorists neutralised in the encounter in Kanker as ‘Shaheed’ despite the police explicitly stating that all of the 29 persons killed were Naxal terrorists and not innocent villagers.

Giving details of the Kanker encounter, IG Sundarraj said, “Yesterday, an encounter broke out between security forces and Naxalites which lasted for around 4 hours…Teams of DRG and BSF cordoned off the area and as a result, 29 CPI Maoist bodies were recovered, out of which 15 were female and 14 were male. Arms and ammunition were recovered in large quantities from the spot…The autopsy of bodies of the Maoists are underway.”

However, this is not the first time Congress leaders have attacked the BJP  government and the police over action against Naxals in Chhattisgarh. Congress party has a history of genuflecting before the Naxalites to whitewash their crimes. Desperate after defeat in the last state assembly elections, Congress is sympathising with even Naxal terrorists to garner some votes.

Congress has a history of mollycoddling with Naxals despite half of its leadership was wiped out by the leftist terrorists

Back in 2019, Congress MLA from Konta constituency, Kawasi Lakhma had written a letter to the then-CM Bhupesh Baghel that an incident in Bastar, where a woman was killed and another was injured after allegedly being caught in a crossfire between Naxals and security forces, was a deliberate act by security forces to target and kill innocent adivasi villagers. Accusing the security personnel of conducting fake encounters of Adivasis, Lakhma had asked for action to be taken against the CRPF personnel involved in the shooting.

Interestingly, Kawasi Lakhma, Konta’s MLA, was the only one who survived. Lakhma was suspected of involvement and later questioned, however, he was exonerated by the NIA due to a lack of evidence.

In August 2018, the Congress, which was then in opposition, claimed that the CRPF encounter in Sukma, in which 15 Naxals were allegedly killed, was also a fake encounter. Congress even set up an 18-member panel to investigate the incident, which included Lakhma. Congress even claimed that the BJP government in the state was anti-tribal and was staging ‘false encounters’ to portray innocent people as Naxals.

It seems like the Congress party has forgotten how Naxalite terrorists had mercilessly killed its leaders in 2013. When the BJP government and security forces in the state are making Chhattisgarh free from Naxal terrorism, Congress instead of extending support is perhaps suffering from “Stockholm syndrome”.

Back in 2013, around 250 Naxals attacked a convoy carrying senior Congress party leaders, slaughtering 27 Congress leaders in cold blood. It is said that the Congress party was alerted of a potential attack earlier. The Maoists launched the Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC), which included this attack. The Naxals are alleged to have used 30 kilograms of explosives in the attack. The Naxalites stopped the convoy after a blast and shouted the names of those on their hit list.

Mahendra Karma, the former Home Minister of Chhattisgarh, was also on the hit list. He is claimed to have pleaded with the Naxals to take him and let others go before the terrorists killed him.

Back in June 2012, 19 Naxals were gunned down by the security forces in the Dantewada. P Chidambaram was the Union home minister and he had mentioned to the media that three prominent Maoist leaders, Somulu, Nagesh and Mahesh were killed in that gun battle. However, the usual players including Swami Agnivesh, PUCL President Prabhakar Sinha and CPIM alleged that the encounters were fake and the CRPF had killed innocent people in cold blood.

Notably, some of the Chhattisgarh Congress leaders had back then raised strong objections over Naxals being called ‘terrorists’. The Chhattisgarh AICC had even downplayed the then-Union Home Minister P Chidambaram’s announcement about three Maoist terrorists killed in a gun battle back then. At that time also, after a dramatic turn of events which included the formation of a fact-finding committee to probe the veracity of the encounters, Chhattisgarh Congress had called the encounters “completely fake”.

It is, however, not surprising that Congress is hailing left-wing terrorists as ‘martyrs’ for political gains. In November 2023, when Bhupesh Baghel was the CM of Chhattisgarh, he had brushed aside the killings of 8 BJP leaders by Maoists in 2023 alone as ‘minor incidents’. Many BJP leaders had alleged that the Congress government had launched a “proxy war” against BJP using  Maoists.

As we reported at the time, when asked about the news of the killing of a BJP leader by Maoists, Baghel had said, “Some minor incidents are happening in some places.” When a sitting CM was dismissing killings of BJP leaders by Maoists as ‘minor incidents’, it is not difficult to guess how seriously the scam-tainted Congress government must have fought against left-wing terrorism.

Congress’s dismissal of encounters resulting in the killings of Maoist terrorists as “fake” is in line with the stand of the banned terror outfit Communist Party of India (Maoist). In February this year, the Maoist outfit had called an encounter in which 4 Naxalites were killed as “fake and fabricated”, much like Congress’s claim in the Kanker encounter, CPIM had also claimed that the slain Naxalites were ‘innocent’ villagers.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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