New Delhi, Jan 18 (PTI) Chhattisgarh government todayadmitted in the Supreme Court that the prevailing situation oftribals being caught in a crossfire between Maoists, thepolice and anti-Maoist vigilante group Salwa Judum was atestimony to governance failure.
"All these are the testimony of failure of governancein the state. It is honestly accepted," senior advocate HarishSalve, appearing for the state government, submitted before aBench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar.
The statement by Salve was made in the backdrop of40,000 tribals leaving their home for relief camps and schoolsin Naxal-affected districts occupied by security forces.
However, the senior advocate defended the appointmentof a high-powered committee headed by Chief Minister RamanSingh to monitor relief and rehabilitation work in Maoist-hitareas saying it cannot be led by an "ousider".
"There is nothing wrong in Relief and Rehabilitationcommittee being headed by the Chief Minister. It is not thepower but the duty of the CM and the committee cannot beheaded by an outsider," Salve said countering the rightsactivists who have opposed the idea of the Chief Ministerheading a committee.
He submitted there was no need for the appointment ofhigh-powered committee to look after the relief andrehabilitation work and the state government is competentenough to look after its people.
However, the apex court stuck to its earlier demandand asked Chhattisgarh government to vacate all schoolbuildings under the occupation of security forces in Naxal-hitareas of the state within four months. (more) PTI AAC RKS
The bench also sought a comprehensive report from the state government on its plan to disband the relief camp wherethe tribals are given temporary shelter.
"Its a question of freedom. Bread and freedom both areimportant and people must go back to their homes," the benchsaid.
The court was hearing the PIL filed by sociologistNandini Sundar, historian Ramchandra Guha, former bureaucrat EA S Sarma and others seeking a direction to the stategovernment to refrain from allegedly supporting Salwa Judum.
Chhattisgarh government had given details about thesteps taken by it on the FIRs registered on the basis of thereport of NHRC pointing to human rights violations by themembers of Salwa Judum.
Opposing the petition, the state government submittedSalwa Judum is history and it has not been supporting themovement any more.
"There is no question of supporting any group which isresorting to violent activity. We are not supporting violentactivities or any other movement which preaches violence," thestate government said.