Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Naxals see plot in Salwa Judum

Naxals see plot in Salwa Judum

PATNA: Even as the Bihar government is still toying with the idea of implementing Salwa Judum, an anti-Naxalite movement, in the state on the pattern of Chhattisgarh, the CPI (Maoist) has launched an all-out publicity campaign against the movement.

An ultra booklet surfacing in Patna ridicules the name of the very movement. "It may even find mention in the Oxford dictionary," the booklet states, stressing that the real meaning of Salwa Judum in Gondi language spoken by tribals in Bastar area is "Thandi Samuhik Shikar (Cold mass hunting)".

"Of course, the government would have liked the people to believe that the term Salwa Judum meant a spontaneous people’s movement for peace," the booklet states.

It further goes on to allege that over 3,000 hutments of tribals spread over in about 500 villages in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh were reduced to ashes by the police and the protagonists of the Salwa Judum in the last one year.

"Though the so-called peace initiative launched by the Chhattisgarh government aims at promoting peace by providing firearms to villagers to take on the might of Naxalites, over 250 persons were killed and around 100 women raped in the last one year," it says.

The booklet insists the government is actually "outsourcing" its battle against Naxalites. "In fact, the government is trying to create a within different communities," it says, stressing that the government is waging a war in Chhattisgarh on the pattern of Kashmir.

"Anti-social elements have been made special police officers (SPOs) and handed over .303 rifles. They get a paltry sum of Rs 1,500 a month. No educational criteria or age bar has been fixed for these police officers," the booklet says, pointing out that even boys in the age group of 14 years have been made SPOs.

It further alleges that the government is actually running gangs of criminals in the name of SPOs. These gangs commit all kinds of criminal activities like dacoity, murder and rape.

"The SPOs are the enemies of the ultras as well as the society. The police are using the SPOs as a shield to protect themselves from Naxal attacks. Even persons with anti-Naxal background or ‘degenerate’ former Maoists have been made SPOs," it said.

It is even critical of the Chhattisgarh CM’s decision to promote over 11,000 students of 246 schools without holding any examination. "The Chhattisgarh government blames us for the deplorable condition of education in the Bastar district. In fact, it is the Salwa Judum campaign which has affected education in the area. Most of the school buildings have been occupied by the police forces and the so-called SPOs," it says.


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