Chhattisgarh govt disbands SPOs

Last Updated: Sunday, August 21, 2011 - 22:45

New Delhi: The Chhattisgarh government has
informed the Supreme Court that it has disbanded and disarmed
the tribals who were deployed as special police officers
(SPOs) in anti-Naxal operations in the state and assured that
all of them would be incorporated in the police force.

In an affidavit, the Raman Singh government said it has
fully complied with the verdict of the apex court in which it
had directed to disband the SPOs.
"The state has promulgated `The Chhattisgarh Auxiliary
Armed Police Force Ordinance` which was notified on July 28,
2011. In terms of the aforesaid ordinance, every person
serving as SPO on the date of this ordinance shall, for a
period of six months from the date of this ordinance, be
deemed to be a member of Auxiliary Armed Police Force," the
affidavit said.

The affidavit, filed by advocate Atul Jha, said that
arms and ammunition issued to the SPOs have been recalled and
they have not been used in any anti-Naxal operation after the
apex court`s verdict.
"It is submitted that SPOs have not been deployed in any
of the operations against the Maoists ever since the order.
Arms and ammunition issued to the SPOs have been recalled. All
further deployment and duties of the members of Auxiliary
Armed Police Force shall hereafter be in strict compliance
with the provisions of the ordinance," it said.

Coming down heavily on the Chhattisgarh government for
involving vigilante group Salwa Judum in fighting Maoists, the
Supreme Court had restrained it and the Centre from arming
SPOs, calling the 5,000-strong force as "unconstitutional".

Asking the state and the Centre to desist from appointing
tribals as SPOs and arming them for countering Naxals in any
manner directly or indirectly, the court had said the
appointment of tribal youths as SPOs was "unconstitutional".

The court had passed the order on a petition filed by
sociologist Nandini Sundar, historian Ramachandra Guha, former
bureaucrat E A S Sarma and others.

PTI




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