Prime Minister urged to stop Salwa Judum campaign
114 persons killed by the Naxalites in Chhattisgarh in 2006
New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights today urged Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh not to directly involve civilians in the counter-insurgency operations against Naxalites and stop the Salwa Judum type campaign of Chhattisgarh. The Prime Minister will lead the discussion at the Conference of the Chief Ministers of 13 Naxalite affected States in New Delhi on 13 April 2005.
“The Salwa Judum campaign only creates the conditions which the Naxalites exploit in the first place with heavy loss of lives of the civilians. Since 1 January 2006, 133 persons have been killed in Chattisgarh out of which the Naxalites have killed 89 civilians and 25 security forces.” – stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.
“Are the Central government and the Naxalite affected States ready to displace millions of tribal peoples in the Naxalite affected areas with the aim to disconnect the Naxalites from the civilians? If these displaced persons cannot be fed until the Naxalite problem is resolved with guarantees for safety and security, displacement will only create further support for the Naxalites” – warned Mr Chakma. The Centre should first rehabilitate those tribals who have been displaced because of development projects, national parks etc.
Describing the Adivasi and Dalit dimensions of the Naxalite affected districts, ACHR stated, according to 2001 census, Adivasis constitute 66% of the total population of Dantewada district and 55% of the Sarguja district of Chhattisgarh while the Dalits constitute 29.5% in Gaya district, 20% in Nalanda district and 18.5% in Jehanabad district of Bihar. The Adivasis and Dalits together constitute 30.5% in Warangal district, 35.5% in Khammam district and 27.5% in Nalgonda district of Andhra Pradesh. The Naxalite affected areas require sustainable development on “war footing” and ensuring the rights of the Adivasis and Dalits must be at the heart of these development programmes.
ACHR also condemned the violations of the international humanitarian laws by the Naxalites and urged the Naxalites to stop killings of the innocent civilians. “A written assurance from the Communists Party of India (Maoists) that no person who has moved into Salwa Judum camps on his own volition or by force shall be harmed under any circumstances is crucial for dismantling of the Salwa Judum camps” – stated ACHR.