Salwa Judum never existed: Raman Singh

May 4th, 2012 - 4:14 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh, who arrived here Friday after the release of abducted district collector Alex Paul Menon a day earlier, said there was nothing like Salwa Judum against the Maoists in the state.

Addressing a press conference, he said words like ‘Greenhunt’ and ‘Salwa Judum’ did not exist in the dictionary of the state government or in any dictionary of India.

“‘Salwa Judum’ and ‘Green Hunt’ do not exist,” Singh said. “There are no such words in the dictionary of the Chhattisgarh government.”

Asked about the activities that took place in the name of Salwa Judum, he said: “People stepped out for their protection, they just called it something, Salwa Judum does not exist.”

He ruled out disbanding the outfit — since it “never existed”.

Salwa Judum, which means “peace march” in the local language, was a movement which armed rural and tribal youth against the Maoists.

On July 5, 2011, the Supreme Court declared the militia unconstitutional and asked the Chhattisgarh government to disband it.

Green Hunt was the name given to the security forces operation against the rebels.

Raman Singh welcomed the release of district collector Menon, and appreciated the work done by the interlocutors.

Singh stressed that no ransom was paid and no Maoists were freed in exchange for Menon, adding a high powered committee will now look case by case into bail application of those arrested for rebel activities.

He said he will talk to Home Minister P. Chidambaram to formulate a policy to prevent such kidnappings as the problem was there is several states.

“I will ask him to call a meeting after tomorrow’s (May 5) meeting to discuss the formulation of a policy against such kidnappings,” he said.

Singh is here for a meeting of chief ministers on the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC). He refused to speak on the issue however, saying he will present his views on the amended NCTC at Saturday’s meeting.

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