Salwa Judum: SC disagrees with Chhattisgarh Govt

Chhattisgarh Govt had filed an affidavit stating that Maoists & Naxalites were targeting schools, panchayats and hospital buildings and that anti-Naxal vigilante group Salwa Judum has become infructuous.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday did
not approve Chhattisgarh Government`s idea to run schools at
alternative sites without disturbing para-military personnel
stationed in them in Naxal-hit districts of the state.

"We are not going to buy this argument. You have to
vacate the schools," a bench comprising Justices B Sudershan
Reddy and S S Nijjar said.

The remarks by the bench came during the hearing of
petitions against the anti-Naxal vigilante group Salwa Judum.

Chhattisgarh Government submitted that since central
forces were stationed in schools, it has made alternative
arrangements for running schools in the Maoist-hit villages.

The court, during the earlier hearing, had asked the
state government to remove security forces from schools and
ashrams.

Senior advocate Harish Salve and Atul Jha, appearing
for the state government, said a response would be filed in
this regard after taking instructions from the authorities.

Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising supported
the stand taken by the bench and said in a separate matter,
the court has asked the authorites in north-eastern states to
move out central forces stationed in school buildings.

The bench fixed the next date of hearing on December
15.

The bench also asked the state government to consider
the plea of restoring security to an ex-MLA, who had
apprehended threat to his life from Salwa Judum and some
corporate groups.

Manish Kurjam is one of the petitioner along with
Kartam Joga, a Leftist leader, who was arrested on September
14 in connection with April 6 incident when 76 CRPF personnel
were killed in an ambush by Maoists.
The state government had withdrawn Kurjam`s security
recently.

The Chhattisgarh Government had on October 28 filed
an affidavit stating that Maoist outfits and Naxalites were
targeting schools, panchayats and hospital buildings and that
anti-Naxal vigilante group Salwa Judum has become infructuous.

However, the petitioners, who have sought a direction
to the state government to refrain from allegedly supporting
and encouraging Salwa Judum, had said though it (Salwa Judum)
is in animated suspension, it has been revived under new name
which the state government has never acknowledged.

The court was hearing the PIL filed by sociologist
Nandini Sundar, historian Ramchandra Guha, former bureaucrat E
A S Sarma and others, seeking a direction to the state
government to refrain from allegedly supporting and
encouraging Salwa Judum.

PTI

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