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SC order on Salwa Judum stuns Chhattisgarh government

July 06, 2011 11:59 IST
The Chhattisgarh government has sought advice from legal experts after the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked it and the Centre to desist from arming tribals and deploying vigilante groups like Salwa Judum in the fight against Maoists.

"I have heard about the Supreme Court's order and the state respects it. We are consulting legal experts on this issue," Chief Minister Raman Singh told reporters in Raipur.

To a query, he said the Salwa Judum was a "self-movement" and not started by the government.

Home Minister Nanki Ram Kanwar too echoed Singh's sentiments and said further action cannot be taken without legal advice.

The SPOs have been appointed only after consultation with the Centre and they are playing an important role in the operation against the Maoists, he said.

Senior state police officials too voiced concern over the apex court's ruling, saying that police may have to face a lot  of trouble in the absence of SPOs.

It is said that SPOs and Koya commandos play an important role in anti-naxal operations as being natives, they are well-versed with the region.

Meanwhile, former chief minister Ajit Jogi welcomed the Supreme Court ruling and said the decision was a relief to thousands of innocent tribals.

He alleged that the state government had forced the tribals to take up arms against the Naxals without proper training and in the guise of the Salwa Judum created an explosive situation in the disturbed Bastar region.

The Bharatiya Janata Party government is helpless in the Naxal-dominated areas, which can be seen from the fact the outlaws have successfully established a parallel government and over 25,000 innocent lives have been lost in Naxal violence, he said.

After the Supreme Court's verdict, the chief minister should resign, Jogi added.

Read the Supreme Court verdict on Salwa Judum here

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