`Indian Maoists lack capacity to shun bullet for ballot’

August 20th, 2008 - 9:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Raipur, Aug 20 (IANS) “Indian Maoists lack courage to shun bullet for ballot,” said Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh Wednesday while reacting to a call given by newly-elected Prime Minister of Nepal, Prachanda, to Indian Maoist guerrillas to opt for ballot if they enjoy people’s support.Participating in a debate here at Raipur Press Club on Maoism, Singh termed controversial civil militia movement Salwa Judum, launched in June 2005 against insurgents, as “a self-inspired movement of tribals thirsty for development”.

“This movement (Salwa Judum) can never fail and the country and the world has to rally behind the movement sooner or later,” Singh said in the presence of a gathering of intellectuals and Mahendra Karma, considered to be man behind the launch of the movement.

Human right groups accuse the state government of funding and arming Salwa Judum that is active in state’s southern mineral-rich forested Bastar region, the nerve centre of insurgents.

They allege that by sponsoring the movement, the government has put tens of thousands of innocent tribal civilians of Bastar in line of fire between the police and the armed guerrillas.

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