The NIA has arrested a key accused in the killing of Chhattisgarh BJP MLA Bhima Mandavi last year in an IED blast carried out by the outlawed CPI (Maoist), an official said on Tuesday.
Haripal Singh Chauhan, 44, a resident of Dantewada district, was a co-conspirator in the killing of the MLA on April 9, 2019, an NIA spokesperson said.
He became the sixth person to be arrested in the case.
Chauhan, a wholesale dealer of everyday-use merchandise in Nakulnar village, had allegedly procured the requisite material for the IED blast which led to the killings, the official of the premier investigation agency said.
The case pertains to the IED blast followed by indiscriminate firing by the cadres of the banned CPI (Maoist) on April 9 last year near Shyamgiri village in Dantewada in which Bhima Mandavi, the then sitting BJP MLA of Dantewada, was killed along with four police personnel of Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF), he said.
Arms and ammunition of the police personnel were also looted.
The NIA re-registered the case on May 17 last year.
Two other accused -- Bhima Tati and Madka Ram Tati, both residents of Dantewada's Tikanpal Village -- were arrested by the NIA on April 7 this year, the official said.
Later, three more accused -- Laxman Jaiswal, Ramesh Kumar Kashyap and Kumari Linge Tati -- were arrested on July 29, the NIA official said.
Chauhan, who was arrested on Monday, was on Tuesday produced before a special NIA court in Jagdalpur which sent him to three days of NIA remand, he said.
So far, six persons have been arrested in the case and further investigation is underway, the official added.