Chhattisgarh ticked off for arming Salwa Judum cadre

March 31st, 2008 - 8:48 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 31 (IANS) Saying that maintaining law and order is the responsibility of the administration, the Supreme Court Monday ticked off the Chhattisgarh government for arming tribals to form the civil militia movement, Salwa Judum, to counter the Maoist menace. A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice Aftab Alam told the state government: “You cannot supply arms to the people and encourage them to take law into their own hands.”

The bench asked the state government to deploy more police, paramilitary forces or even the army to tackle the Maoist problem.

The terse observation by the bench against the Chhattisgarh government came during the hearing of a petition filed by Left-leaning academicians Ramachandra Guha and Nandini Sundar.

The two had alleged that in the name of fighting Maoists, the government was arming Salwa Judum activists and encouraging them in the wanton killing of innocent tribals and villagers.

The petitioners contended that the Salwa Judum was basically “another name of state-sponsored terrorism in Chhattisgarh”.

They sought directions to the state government to refrain from supplying arms to the civil militia cadre and disband the movement in the state.

The bench asked the petitioners to file another application seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the killings by the Salwa Judum.

The matter was adjourned for further hearing on April 13.

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