There is no Naxalism in Gujarat, say rights activists

Civil society members here on Tuesday denounced the arrest of a man for suspected Naxal links and alleged illegal detention of a social worker, saying Naxalism in Gujarat was "a ghost" created by the BJP government.

Last Updated: Jun 01, 2010, 23:44 PM IST

Ahmedabad: Civil society members here on Tuesday
denounced the arrest of a man for suspected Naxal links and
alleged illegal detention of a social worker, saying Naxalism
in Gujarat was "a ghost" created by the BJP government.

"Gujarat is a state of ghosts. Every now and then these
ghosts, be it of Naxalism, dacoits from Chambal or terrorism,
are brought out based on the requirements of the ruling
party," human rights activist and senior advocate Girish Patel
said here today.
He was speaking at a gathering of members of civil
society groups who have slammed the arrest of Sagar alias
Shrinivas Venketachalia (35), working in an NGO in the city,
for alleged Naxal links.

They also alleged that the Crime Branch had "illegally"
detained Amrit Vaghela, a social worker from Gomtipur here.

Twelve people have been arrested in Gujarat in the last
couple of months on charges of links with the Maoists.

"In the 1960s some union leaders were arrested in the
name of Naxalism, while in the 1980 the government had floated
information that dacoits from Chambal have entered Gujarat,"
Patel said.

"There is no Naxalism in Gujarat, it just a ghost created
by the state government as the argument of Islamic terrorism
was no longer accepted. This ghost has been created as all the
encounters have turned out to be fake and are now haunting the
police and the government," Patel alleged.
Another social activist Hiren Gandhi alleged that the
government, in the name of Naxalism, was targeting those
working for the poor, Dalits and the oppressed.

"(Chief Minister Narendra) Modi, when outside Gujarat,
says the Naxal problem needs to be tackled with talks, and
look what his government is doing in Gujarat," Gandhi said.

Social activist Raju Solnaki claimed, "This is a
conspiracy of the government to suppress voice of the Dalits
and people working against communal forces."

The civil society members demanded that the government
should specify about the kind of conspiracy hatched by those
arrested in the state for alleged Naxal links.

PTI