Chhattisgarh’s Salwa Judum cadres to ‘challenge’ Maoists

February 28th, 2008 - 11:52 am ICT by admin  

Raipur, Jan 11 (IANS) Claiming that the Salwa Judum movement had been successful in pushing back Maoists in Chhattisgarh to where they were a decade ago, cadres plan to take out rallies from February in guerrilla bastions to “challenge” them, a leader of the movement said Friday. Mahendra Karma, Leader of the Opposition in state assembly and a Congress legislator from the worst Maoist-hit assembly segment Dantewada, said the Salwa Judum movement, launched in June 2005 by tribals of Bastar region, had demolished the Maoists’ terror network and their intelligence gathering set-up as well.

On Thursday, Karma led a rally of about 5,000 Salwa Judum cadres at Bijapur town, some 450 km south of capital Raipur.

“The Salwa Judum has pushed back the banned terrorist outfit, the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), to the position is was at 10 years back,” Karma said.

“Bastar people created a movement against Maoists after they realised they had been exploited by the rebels for years and development could be brought to the area only if the insurgents are flushed out,” he said in Bijapur Friday.

“From February, the Salwa Judum cadres will take out rallies in the interiors of Bijapur and neighbouring Dantewada district to challenge the Maoists in their stronghold,” Karma said.

Over 50,000 people, tribals of Bijapur and Dantewada, have deserted their native villages in dense forests due to threats from Maoists since the launch of the Salwa Judumm and have been settled in 23 government-run makeshift relief camps.

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