Naxal menace, civil supplies scam kept Chhattisgarh in news

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Raipur, Jan 1: Insurgency-hit Chhattisgarh remained in news in 2015 due to the multi-crore scam in civil supplies department, killing of seven security personnel in the biggest Naxal strike of the year and gunning down of 18 Maoists in separate encounters, but the hockey world league finals hosted in Raipur brought some cheers to sports lovers.

And as the year was about to end, a media report about an audio tape containing purported conversations between senior Congress leader and former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, his son Amit, his 'associates' and Puneet Gupta, son-in-law of Chief Minister Raman Singh, to allegedly "fix" the by-election to Antagarh (ST) seat created a furore.


Taking note, the Election Commission asked the state chief secretary to "urgently" institute a "suitable enquiry" into the issue.

Chhattisgarh Congress issued a show-cause notice to Amit and decided to wait for a report from the state unit before taking any action against Ajit Jogi since he is a member of the Congress Working Committee, the party's top decision making body.

Besides, shortfall in rains leading to drought in 117 tehsils and farmers' suicides also made news in 2015. On February 12, the ACB conducted simultaneous raids at 28 premises of the civil supplies department and unearthed disproportionate assets worth Rs 7 crore, apart from recovering cash worth over Rs 3 crore.

Cases were registered against 28 people under IPC sections 109 (abetment), 120(b) (criminal conspiracy) and other relevant sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. The Raman Singh government remained busy warding off the Opposition attack over the issue as the Congress demanded a CBI probe.

Meanwhile, a series of Naxal incidents rocked the state in April, including the killing of seven Special Task Force (STF) men in Polampalli police station area of Sukma district. On April 11, a large group of armed cadres ambushed a team of STF in Pidmel village, about 450 km from the state capital, killing seven of them.

The next day, on April 12, a BSF jawan was killed when Naxals opened indiscriminate fire on security personnel patrolling in the proximity of Chhote Baithiya Border Security Force camp under Bande police station in Kanker district.

Continuing their violent spree, on April 13, the ultras blew up an anti-landmine vehicle in Dantewada district, killing five policemen and injuring eight others. Chhattisgarh police gunned down at least 46 rebels in 2015, as compared to 36 in 2014.

As many as 18 cadres were killed alone in November. Besides, the number of arrested cadres stood at 645 while 301 rebels surrendered in 2015. The causalities on the security forces side were reported at 44, which was 60 in 2014.


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