Times of India

NEW DELHI: Taking serious exception to the arming of Salwa Judum, an anti-Naxalite movement, by the Chhatisgarh government, CPI has asked the Centre to consider its immediate disbanding and initiate a high-level inquiry into alleged criminal activities of its members.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, party National Secretary D Raja said the Chhattisgarh government has been providing logistical support and legitimacy to a “private militia” which has been “asserting the right to control and intimidating and punishing anyone they consider to be suspected Naxalite”.

Alleging that the atrocities committed by Salwa Judum activists go unreported, the CPI leader demanded that the Centre should explain its view on the immediate disbanding of the group and institute a high-level independent inquiry into all acts of violence committed by its members.

“Far from being a peaceful campaign, Salwa Judum activists are armed with guns, lathis, axes, bows and arrows. There has been a breakdown of civil administration and the rule of law in Dantewada district (from where Salwa Judum movement started),” Raja alleged.

It was “clear violation” of democratic principles and norms that the government armed one section against another, he said, alleging that Chhattisgarh government has only served to deepen this crisis by aiding and abetting Salwa Judum.

“The Salwa Judum is, for all practical purpose a militia of the avaricious local elite, pretending to be an expression of spontaneous local anger against the Naxalites,” he said.