Govt to decide on review of Salwa Judum order

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 13:12

New Delhi: The Centre will in the next few
days decide if it will seek a review of the recent Supreme
Court ruling on disbanding Salwa Judum and disarming tribals
deployed as Special Police Officers (SPOs) in operations
against Maoists, Home Minister P Chidambaram said on Wednesday.
Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour in
Rajya Sabha, Chidambaram said his ministry, in consultation
with the Law Ministry, is examining directions to the central
government in the apex court ruling on Salwa Judum.

He said the "very elaborate" Supreme Court ruling gave
directions on where SPOs can be engaged and where they cannot.
The court also gave directions to Chhattisgarh government as
well as the Centre.

"This judgment has far reaching implications. We have
to approach this matter with due caution and care," he said.
Asked if central government has decided to seek a
review of the decision, he said, "We will take a decision (on
it) in the next few days."

The Chhattisgarh government has promulgated an
ordinance to absorb the SPOs posted in Maoist areas into the
regular police force. The Chhattisgarh Auxiliary Armed Police
Force Ordinance, 2011 "is within the legislative powers of the
State of Chhattisgarh," the Minister said.

The ordinance dealt with one part of the judgment and
the larger issue raised was under consideration of the Home
Ministry. "A direction has also been given by the Supreme
Court to the central government to cease and desist,
forthwith, from using any of its funds in supporting, directly
or indirectly, the recruitment of SPOs by the state
governments for operations against the naxalites," he said.
"Government of India is examining those directions (to
the central government) in consultation with Law Ministry,"
Chidambaram said.

The Home Minister said SPOs are engaged in nine
states, including Jammu and Kashmir, under a long-standing
arrangement.

The court had on July 5 directed Chhattisgarh
government to immediately cease and desist from using SPOs
against naxalite activities in the state and recall all
firearms issued to them.

"I am sure authorities or agencies who have been
issued directions will carry out those directions," he said.

The Chhattisgarh ordinance provides for raising an
auxiliary armed police force battalion to absorb the SPOs in
the regular force. Chhattisgarh has roughly 5,000 SPOs.

The Supreme Court has held the appointment of SPOs by
the state of Chhattisgarh to perform any of the duties of
regular police officers, other then helping people in relief
measures during the disaster situations and facilitating
orderly movement of people and vehicles to control and
regulate traffic, to be unconstitutional.

Chidambaram said Rs 2,500 crore was allocated for
development of Naxal-violence affected districts in 2010-11
and Rs 3000 crore in 2011-11. "In all the affected districts,
a very large number of works have been taken up and
completed."

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - 13:12

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