Salwa Judum: SC asks Chhattisgarh to respond to contempt plea
New Delhi: Chhattisgarh Government was on Tuesday granted a day's time by the Supreme Court to respond to allegations of failing to comply with its directions to stop support to vigilante groups like Salwa Judum and arming tribals in the name of SPOs in the fight against Maoists.
Without issuing notice, a bench comprising justices S S Nijjar and H L Gokhale asked the state government to file an affidavit by tomorrow in response to a petition seeking contempt action against it for not complying with the apex court's July 5, 2011 judgement.
Advocate Atul Jha said Chhattisgarh government will spell out the steps taken by it in compliance with the judgement.
The contempt petition was filed by sociologist Nandini Sundar, historian Ramachandra Guha, former bureaucrat E A S Sarma and others on whose PIL the court last year criticised the central and state governments for supporting and funding creation of Special Police Officers (SPOs) under various titles like 'Koya Commandos' and Salwa Judum, an armed civilian vigilante group.
The court said the petitioners will file counter affidavit to the state government's affidavit within a week and posted the matter for hearing on August 9.
Besides accusing the Chhattisgarh Government of not acknowledging the directions on Salwa Judum, the petitioners said instead of "desisting" from using SPOs and disarming them, the state government passed the "Chhattisgarh Auxiliary Armed Police Force Act, 2011" regularising all SPOs with effect from the date of the court order, i.E July 5, 2011.
They alleged that state government has also not vacated all school buildings and ashrams from the occupation of the security force nor has it compensated the victims of Salwa Judum and SPOs.