New Delhi: Appalled by the "savage" attack in Chhattisgarh, NHRC on Wednesday said the Maoists have now made it impossible for authorities to take social welfare programmes to the most needy and asked government to take precautionary steps to ensure villagers do not suffer in any retaliatory operations.
In a statement, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) said it condemns this "brutality" in which around 30 people, including Congress leaders, were killed last week, and urged Maoists to "abandon violence, which has made matters worse for the villagers whose cause they claim to espouse".
The Commission said it was "appalled by the savage attack" on May 25, in which so many people were killed by the left-wing extremists, some after being taken alive.
"Health and education facilities can rarely be provided; only the PDS is permitted to function, because a part of these food supplies sustain Naxals. The children of these families, poor, ill-fed, illiterate, are the pool from whom Naxals recruit their cadres. For the Naxals, therefore, violence is self-serving. There is no just cause which they try to advance through it.
"It was clear to the Commission that the Naxals have now made it impossible to reach social welfare programmes to those who need them most. The plight of the poorest and the most vulnerable, on whose behalf the Naxals claim to have taken up arms, has therefore become even worse," it said.
However, the NHRC urged the Centre and state governments to take "every precaution possible" to ensure that the villagers of the region, already traumatised by the ongoing violence, of which they are the primary victims, do not suffer even more in any retaliatory operations against Naxals.
Noting that it follows developments in Chhattisgarh closely, it said the Commission`s special rapporteurs and other officers are making regular visits to the state after its report to the Supreme Court on Salwa Judum.
The Commission led by its Chairman Justice K G Balakrishnan held a camp sitting last month in Raipur and two NHRC members travelled to Dantewada to try to form a first-hand impression of developments in Bastar region, where the suffering is the most acute, it said.
It said the Commission is "extremely concerned" that the level of violence will rise again after this last attack by the Naxals as the state tries to arrest or kill those who were responsible.
"Police officers have confirmed to the Commission that the Naxals use villagers who are sympathisers as human shields when they are cornered. Other villagers have no option but to do what they are ordered to do by the Naxalites, but are then branded as supporters by the police and suffer the consequences," it said.