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Maoist violence, CRPF laxity to dominate Chhattisgarh assembly sessi

Written by: Staff
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Raipur, July 23 (UNI) Brutal killings of poor tribals by the Maoists in Bastar and the alleged inaction of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) during the naxalite attack on a relief camp leading to massacre of 33 people is expected to dominate the Chhattisgarh Vidhan Sabha's monsoon session beginning here tomorrow.

The main opposition Congress is gearing up to mount an onslaught on Dr Raman Singh Government accusing it of having failed to provide adequate security to the Bastar villagers, who had come out in open against the naxals by launching anti-naxalite 'Salwa Judum'.

Congress Legislative Party deputy leader Bhupesh Baghel told UNI that his party legislators would raise the issue of Errabore carnage, in which the ultras stormed the relief camp and slew 33 people besides setting ablaze their houses in the wee hours of July 17.

He said the state government had failed to ensure security to the villagers, who had taken shelter in the relief camp as Maoists stepped up violence ever since anti-naxalite campaign began in the region.

The CRPF is likely to face criticism both from the ruling party as well as the opposition because of its alleged inaction when the Maoists stormed the relief camp. It is alleged that CRPF personnel, deployed near Errabore, did not come out to rescue the villagers when the Maoists raided the camp.

State Home Minister Ram Vichar Netam had already alleged that security forces tried to ''save themselves'' by remaining within their camp when the extremists unleashed terror.

''More lives could have been saved if they had come out to the rescue of the villagers,'' he added.

The state government had already set up a two-member committee, headed by CM's principal secretary Vivek Dhand, to inquire into the alleged security lapses.

Corruption and other irregularities in the appointment of 'shiksha karmis' (Teachers to be appointed on honorarium basis) by the Panchayati Raj Institutions, complaints regarding the functioning of the state Public Service Commission, procurement of paddy on support price from the farmers were among the issues that could come up for debate during the six-day session.

Meanwhile, official sources said the state government was contemplating to introduce legislation, on the lines of one existing in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, to check religious conversions.

Indications are that the bill could lay down certain procedures for any religious conversion and stringent punishment for its violation. The assembly session is scheduled to conclude on August three.

UNI JJ PS 1138

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