Disband Salwa Judum: demands CPI

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New Delhi, May 3 (UNI) The CPI today demanded disbanding of Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh, a ''state sponsored outfit initiated by the Congress and adopted by the BJP government'' to counter naxalism, which is considered the greatest threat to the internal security of the country.

The CPI, in a memorandum submitted to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here this evening by a three-member party delegation led by general secretary A B Bardhan, also urged the UPA government to ''stop aiding and abetting it in the name of promoting local resistance groups.'' The delegation, including party secretary D Raja and Lok Sabha leader Gurudas Dasgupta, also demanded a high level independent inquiry into all acts of ''violence, rape, arson, murder and disappearance by Salwa Judum and para-military forces and initiate appropriate criminal proceedings'' against those responsible for it.

The CPI also demanded rehabilitation of those tribals who fled because of the activities of the anti-naxal outfit. The government should rebuild the houses of the tribals damaged or destroyed by activists of the armed outfit.

Quoting the Supreme Court's disapproval of the use of the anti-naxal outfit by the Chhattisgarh government to fight the menace of naxalism in the state, the Communists leaders said by extending logistic support to what ''is essentially a private militia,'' the state government has given it legitimacy. The apex court, has rightly observed that the state giving "arms to some persons" would mean it is ''abetting in a crime if these private persons kill others.'' The party also quoted with approval the Planning Commission's report recommending winding up of the Salwa Judum.

It said measures like Salwa Judum ''delegitimises politics, dehumanises people, degenerates those engaged in their security and above all, represents abdication of the State itself".

Opposing Salwa Judum an attempt to make ''adivasis fight adivasis, one village ranged against another; an open incitement to civil strife in the tribal inhabited areas of the state,'' CPI claimed about 50,000 people have been forced to leave their villages and live camps because of the activities of this anti-naxal outfit touted as people's movement for peace.

The memorandum said, ''Any attempt by government to arm one section against another constitutes a clear violation of all democratic principles and norms in a democratic polity like ours.'' UNI SAA BDP BST2117

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