The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

February 5, 2009

SC disapproves Chhattisgarh govt's Salwa Judum

The Supreme Court has said that the state-sponsored movement against ultra-leftist militants was unlawful as ordinary people can't be armed and expected to take on Naxalites.

The bench comprising Chief Justice of India, KG Balakrishnan and Justice P Satasivam, held that arming the civilians to fight the Maoists was unbecoming of a state and it can create a dangerious situation.

The Apex court said that the state should protect the citizens. The bench rejected the stand of state government's counsel who said that special police officers were appointed to fight the Naxals and common citizens were not armed in this struggle.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had made several recommendations following its probe into the alleged excesses during the movement. The Action Taken Report (ATR) on the NHRC recommendations were put up by the government.

Chhattisgarh is among the states that are worst affected by Naxalism. In order to take on the Red Terror, the people's movement involving local tribals was led by Congress leader Mahendra Karma.

Later the BJP government supported it. However, there are frequent complaints of human rights violation. The arrest of Dr Binayak Sen, a renowned doctor and civil rights activist, has also raised questions on the state's sincerity in tackling the Leftist guerrillas.

Tens of thousands of villagers are living in relief camps due to the armed violence between Salwa Judum activists and the ultra-leftists. Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh in the year 2000.

TIH Bureau

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