Salwa Judum: SC tells Chhattisgarh govt to reply to contempt petition

New Delhi: Chhattisgarh Government was today granted a day's time by the Supreme Court to respond to allegations of failing to comply with its directions to stop support to vigilante groups like Salwa Judum and arming tribals in the name of SPOs in the fight against Maoists.

Without issuing notice, a bench comprising justices SS Nijjar and HL Gokhale asked the state government to file an affidavit by tomorrow in response to a petition seeking contempt action against it for not complying with the apex court's 5 July, 2011 judgement.

 Salwa Judum: SC tells Chhattisgarh govt to reply to contempt petitionAdvocate Atul Jha said Chhattisgarh government will spell out the steps taken by it in compliance with the judgement.

The contempt petition was filed by sociologist Nandini Sundar, historian Ramachandra Guha, former bureaucrat EAS Sarma and others on whose PIL the court last year criticised the central and state governments for supporting and funding creation of Special Police Officers (SPOs) under various titles like 'Koya Commandos' and Salwa Judum, an armed civilian vigilante group.

The court said the petitioners will file counter affidavit to the state government's affidavit within a week and posted the matter for hearing on 9 August.

Besides accusing the Chhattisgarh Government of not acknowledging the directions on Salwa Judum, the petitioners said instead of "desisting" from using SPOs and disarming them, the state government passed the "Chhattisgarh Auxiliary Armed Police Force Act, 2011" regularising all SPOs with effect from the date of the court order, i.e 5 July, 2011.

They alleged that state government has also not vacated the security force from all school buildings and ashrams nor has it compensated the victims of Salwa Judum and SPOs.

Further, the petitioners claimed that CBI was "seeking protection" from the SPOs and its probe relating to the attack on social activist Swami Agnivesh in March last in Tadmetla, Timapuram and Morapalli villages was incomplete even after a year has passed.

The Chhattisgarh Government will also respond to the allegation that it has not filed FIRs against the culprits responsible for the killing of tribals by SPOs and has set up various committees which are neither independent nor doing any monitoring.

PTI

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Updated Date: Jul 24, 2012 17:55:27 IST