Withdraw troops from schools, apex court tells Chhattisgarh
Tuesday January 18, 2011 08:43:42 PM,
New Delhi: The Supreme
Court Tuesday directed the Chhattisgarh government to get vacated
within four months all schools, educational institutions and
hostels being used as camps by security forces fighting the
Maoists in Dantewada and Bijapur districts.
Taking note of the submission made by senior counsel Harish Salve
that displaced tribals living in relief camps would be
rehabilitated in their villages, the court asked the state
government to file an affidavit giving details of the plan.
Salve, who appeared for the state government, said that the
affidavit would give details of the rehabilitation package and the
possible time frame for disbanding the relief camps, also known as
"Salwa Judum" camps.
The apex court bench of Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice
S.S. Nijjar gave the government time till Feb 3 to file the
affidavit and listed the case for Feb 24.
The court recorded that there was consensus on the disbanding of
the Salwa Judum - state-sponsored vigilante group - and withdrawal
of security forces lodged in the schools and hostels. The court
noted that already the process of its withdrawal has started.
The court also recorded the submission by senior counsel Ashok
Desai, appearing for one of the petitioners Delhi University
professor Nandini Sunder, that the compensation had only been paid
to victims of Maoist violence and not to those who suffered the
brunt of violence by Salwa Judum activists.
The court earlier asked Desai if it (the court) could pass an
order directing the Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh to
keep off the suggested "independent committee" of experts to
monitor the implementation of the tribals' rehabilitation package
and payment of compensation in the Maoist-hit areas.
The court's query came in the wake of submission by Desai that an
independent committee having four members from the central
government, four from the state government and four independent
people along with two petitioners be set up to monitor the
implementation of the rehabilitation and compensation package for
the victims of violence.
"Given the constitutional scheme of things, can court give
directions of this nature to the chief minister," asked the court.
The court said that acceding to such a plea "would result in
serious and disastrous consequences" to the functioning of the
Rejecting the petitioner's plea, Salve said he was opposed to the
suggestion on accounts of its "nature and quality".
He said that to deal with the problem what was required was to
build "vibrant institutions" like a state human rights commission
where people could move for redressal of their grievances.
Salve made it clear that the government would extend all support
to any mechanism that is devised by the court for monitoring the
rehabilitation of the tribals.
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