Naxals killed 700 tribals in 5 years, Chattisgarh tells SC

Posted By: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 24 (PTI) Chattisgarh government has toldthe Supreme Court that it would not be possible to shiftvillagers from relief camps within a definite timeframe dueto possible reprisals from Naxalites who killed 700 tribals inthe past five years.

In an affidavit submitted through counsel Atul Jha, thestate government however, said it was taking all steps togradually shift the villagers back to their villages from therelief camps set up close to police stations in the worstMaoist-hit Dantewada and Bijapur districts.

A bench of justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar,while taking on record the two affidavits filed by the state,asked the petitioner Nandini Sundar, a civil libertiesactivist, to file her response.

According to the state government, Naxalites were bent onexterminating all those opposing their ideology or thoseunwilling to join their outfits.

The state''s affidavit comes in the backdrop of theJanuary 18 apex court''s direction to wind up the relief campsas civil rights groups alleged they are used to shelter armedSalwa Judum (viglilante group) members and special policeofficers trained by the government to tackle Naxalites.

The government, however, said it has taken steps tovacate the educational institutions used by security personnelwithin a definite timeframe and budgetary allocations had beenmade for construction of adequate barracks for the personnel.

"Since 2005, the relief camps in Dantewada and Bijapurhave been attacked 34 times. In 2010 alone, these relief campshave been attacked 9 times. In the last five years, more than700 innocent tribals have been killed by Naxalites after beingbranded as sympathiser of Salwa Judum or as police informers.

"It is submitted that in the prevailing security scenariowith the Naxalites determined to exterminate all those peopleopposed to them or unwilling to join their cadre, it would notbe possible to force the remaining inmates of these camps toleave immediately," the affidavit said.

The government said relief camps have been set up as partof the constitutional obligation to provide safety tovillagers who had left their villages due to fear andatrocities of Naxalites.

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