Sufficient security for NHRC team: Chhattisgarh police

May 21st, 2008 - 4:13 pm ICT by admin  

Raipur, May 21 (IANS) The Chhattisgarh police Wednesday said that it has made sufficient security arrangements for a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) team that is presently visiting the state’s Bastar region to probe into alleged human rights violations by the Salwa Judum. The police and insurgents fought a gun battle at a remote forest-surrounded village called Jagargunda in Dantewada district Monday when the NHRC probe team was visiting a relief camp there.

In the half-hour gun battle, sub-inspector Brijesh Tiwari sustained bullet injuries.

“Sufficient security has been provided to the NHRC team,” Girdhari Nayak, inspector general in charge of Maoist operations, told IANS on phone.

The probe team, since it reached Bastar region May 17, visited Maoist violence-hit Bijapur and Dantewada districts where about 50,000 people have been uprooted from their villages and settled in 23 government-run camps.

The probe team’s Chhattisgarh visit follows a Supreme Court order April 15 asking a NHRC committee to look into alleged human rights violations by Salwa Judum cadres and submit a report within eight weeks.

The committee has so far visited at least six relief camps in the two districts and held discussions with tribals, senior government officials posted in the region as well as with the non-government organisations.

The probe team will meet police officers here before returning to New Delhi May 24. They will discuss the feedback they get from Dantewada and Bijpaur camp settlers and from those caught in the fight between insurgents and the Salwa Judum.

The tribal villagers’ mass exodus began after June 2005 when a militia movement called Salwa Judum was started against the Maoist guerrillas. The government provided arms and monetary support to the movement.

Human rights bodies allege that the state government has been creating vigilante squads that commit human rights abuses in the name of suppressing the Maoist movement.

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