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Chidambaram clears his stand on anti-Maoists movement

New Delhi , Wed, 03 Aug 2011 ANI

New Delhi, Aug 3 (ANI): Clarifying his stand on the verdict of the Supreme Court on Salwa Judum, Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that the situation was under complete control of the Chhattisgarh Government.


Reacting over the apex court's decision, Chidambaram said the Centre was clueless about the kind of training and steps that were taken by the Chhattisgarh Government to train the Special Police Officers (SPOs).


"An ordinance has been promulgated. This ordinance is come to our notice a couple of days ago. This ordinance is within the jurisdiction of Chhattisgarh. Under the ordinance, they proposed to take some steps to train and regularise a certain section of the SPOs (Special Police Officer). So how they implement this ordinance, whether this ordinance will be replaced a law in the Chhattisgarh assembly meets," said Chidambaram.


"These are matters on which I cannot speculate but this ordinance prima-facie is within the legislative powers of the state of Chhattisgarh," he added.


Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad raised question on the Central Government's take on the court's order and asked whether the government will seek review of court's decision.


"The SPO is a concept in different shapes all over, even in Jammu and Kashmir, where village protection committee is there and you have awarded to many of the brave girl who fought against the terrorists (militancy). This judgment has long-term implications. Impeding upon the security of the country, we cannot wish away the Maoists threats," said Prasad.


"My simple question to you is, you have said you are considering. Does the government of India propose to seek a review of this far reaching judgment?" he asked.


In response to it, Chidambaram said that the matter of Salwa Judum was very sensitive and should be handled with great caution.


"In Chhattisgarh and in Orissa, SPOs have been engaged in certain very limited tasks in the conflict with the left wing extremists, that is because the SPOs bring to the task with certain special skills and certain special knowledge which is otherwise not available to the paramilitary force personnel. This judgment indeed has far reaching implications that is precisely why I say we must approach this matter with due caution and care," said Chidambaram.


"One step has been taken by the Government of Chhattisgarh. The Chief Minister (Ratan Singh) came and met with me and he briefed me. I told him to take proper legal advice. He has since informed me that he has taken the best legal advice available and they have promulgated this ordinance," he added.


Chidambaram further said that in a couple of days, both Centre and the Chhattisgarh Government will arrive at a decision on whether the matter should be reviewed in the apex Court or not.


On July 5, the apex court asked the Chhattisgarh Government to stop appointing tribals as SPOs in its anti-Maoist operation.


An apex court bench comprising Justices B Sudershan Reddy and S S Nijjar said the eligibility criteria, which includes the educational qualification and training of the tribals to combat Maoists goes against the provisions of the Constitution.


The apex court further said that creation of Koya Commandos and Salwa Judum was in violation of the Constitution.


The Special Police Officers (SPOs) have reportedly been given the name of Koya Commandos after that of a tribe in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada region.


Salwa Judum, or peace march, was an anti-Maoist organisation that was launched in 2005 as a people's resistance movement against the Maoist rebels. (ANI)


Read More: Dantewada | Ratan | Chhattisgarh | BJP

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