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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

COUNTER-NAXALISM: SC holds arming of Chhattisgarh tribals as unconstitutional!

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    The bodies of four Chhattisgarh policemen, who were killed in a Maoist attack in Dantewada district, were brought to the district headquarters in a municipality garbage truck - PTI
    The bodies of four Chhattisgarh policemen, who were killed in a Maoist attack in Dantewada district, were brought to the district headquarters in a municipality garbage truck - PTI.

    The Supreme Court today restrained the Chhattisgarh government and the Centre from appointing tribals as Special Police Officers and arming them to counter Maoists, terming the step as 'unconstitutional'.
    The court also ordered a CBI probe into the attack on social activist Swami Agnivesh during his visit to Maoist-hit Chhattisgarh in March.
    "We direct the CBI to take over the investigation into series of violence and attack unleashed on Swami Agnivesh and his companions," a bench comprising justices B. Sudershan Reddy and S.S. Nijjar said.
    Asking the Chhattisgarh government and the Centre to desist from appointing the tribals as Special Police Officers (SPOs) and arming them for countering the Naxals in any manner directly or indirectly, the court said the appointment of tribal youths as SPOs is 'unconstitutional'.
    The bench said that the eligibility criteria including the educational qualification and training of the tribals to combat Maoists goes against the provisions of statues and the Constitution.
    It said that creation of Koya Commandos and Salwa Judum was in violation of the Constitution.
    The special police officers have been given the name Koya Commandos after that of a tribe in the Dantewada region. The issue of SPOs has arisen during the hearing of a petition against existence of Salwa Judum (vigilante groups) in Naxal-hit regions of the state to fight Maoists.


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