International Lawyers see Salwa Judum as HR violation

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New Delhi, Oct 27 (UNI) Slamming the law enforcing authorities in Chhattisgarh for gross human rights violation, a team of international lawyers today said the state sponsored anti-naxalite operation 'Sulwa Judum' has resulted in large scale forcible displacement of tribals.

The six-member group of lawyers from Brazil, Belgium, Philippines, the Netherlands and Turkey associated with Interantional Association of People's Lawyers (IAPL) found that the tribals were used as 'human shield and militias' by the security forces in their campaign agianst the ultras.

The team, which visited Raipur, Jagdalpur, Dantewada and surrounding rural areas from October 22 to 26 said at a press conference here today ''Only a few villagers reportedly moved in the so-called 'relief camps' in Dantewada, now housing 50,000 people.'' ''And a majority of them were forced to go there, subjecting them to coercion, threats, intimidation, deception and violence by Special Police Officers (SPOs) and militia from the Salwa Judum,'' said Mr Raf Jespers, a member of the team.

The lawyers' delegation which met Police officials, scholars, NGOs and officials of UNICEF programme there found that the naxal-hit people were living under inhuman conditions in cramped houses constructed with small parcels from the camp managers. They have been forced to leave productive agricultural activities back in their villages which were well-organised entities, the team members said.

Camp life being a virtual detention, the tribals and adivasis are now uncertain of their future and fearing that they would lose right to their farm lands, said the IAPL lawyers who have solidarity linkage with lawyers from argentina, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, UK and the US.

The IAPL lawyers, claiming to have closely scrutinised some cases, said ''para-military forces personnel wear civilain attire during the military operations in areas reportedly controlled by naxalites. They openly put at risk civilians and non-combatants.'' The lawyers said their formal request to the prison authorities to meet detained civil rights activist, Dr Binayak Sen was turned down.


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