Saturday, May 25, 2013

India - Chhattisgarh: Naxals kill Salwa Judum founder Mahendra Karma, ex-Congress MLA, 19 others

Naxals kill Salwa Judum founder Mahendra Karma, 20 others
                                    Picture : Mahendra Karma founder of Salwa Judum

Democracy and Class Struggle says the use of Salwa Judum by the government for anti naxal operations was criticized for its violations of human rights, use of child soldiers and poorly trained uneducated youth for counter-insurgency roles.

The militia consisting of local tribal youth receives support and training from the Chhattisgarh state government.

On July 5, 2011, the Supreme Court of India declared the militia as illegal and unconstitutional.

The court directed the Chhattisgarh government to recover all the firearms given along with the ammunition and accessories.

It also ordered the government to investigate all instances of alleged criminal activities of Salwa Judum.[3]

Raipur: In one of the deadliest Naxal attacks in Chhattisgarh, at least 21 people including anti-Naxal movement Salwa Judum's founder Mahendra Karma and former Congress MLA Uday Mudliyar were killed on Saturday evening in Darba Ghati Valley of Jagdalpur district.

The attack targeting the Congress party convoy occurred during the Opposition party's Parivartan Yatra and most of those killed were party leaders and workers.

Following the carnage the Naxals also abducted state Congress president Nand Kumar Patel and his son Dinesh Patel. The seriously injured included veteran Congress leader Vidya Charan Shukla, MLA Kwasi Lakhma and prominent party worker Gopi Vadhwani, who were rushed to a hospital in Jagdalapur.

The heavily-armed Naxals, numbering several hundred, reportedly opened fire on the Parivartan Yatra when it reached near forested Darba Ghati area on way to Jagdalpur, the police said. The PCC chief and his son were also abducted by the rebels.

At least 30 people were also injured in the attack Chhattisgarh ADG, Intelligence, Mukesh Gupta confirmed that Karma and Mudliyar had been killed while Patel and his son was missing. Gupta added that Shukla had been grievously injured, sustaining three bullet injuries.

What has baffled experts is that Karma was killed despite having 'Z' category security. Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed that at least 21 people have died in the attack. "Close to 30 people are injured. The casualty figure could go up," MHA sources added.

The MHA sources also said that the Congress convoy was targeted in the landmine blast which was followed by continuous firing. A MHA delegation will be travelling to Chhattisgarh on Sunday morning.

An emergency meeting was called at the residence of Chattissgarh CM Raman Singh immediately after the attack.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has offered additional forces to the state for help. The Home Ministry, sources said, was rushing forces to the state to tackle the crisis. Congress President Sonia Gandhi met the PM to discuss the issue while MoS Home RPN Singh said he would visit the state on Sunday.

The Chhattisgarh Congress, on the other hand, has called for a statewide bandh on Sunday in protest.

Chhattisgarh Congress media cell president Shailesh Trivedi, however, said it was matter of investigation whether Naxals were involved in the attack. He alleged that ruling BJP government did not provide adequate security to the Congress' Yatra despite opposition from Naxals.

"Naxals have opposed both BJP's Vikas Yatra and Congress' Parivartan Yatra. However, the state government provided security only to BJP's Yatra and not to the one organised by Congress. Had it been provided security, today's incident would not have happened," he said.

Trivedi said he was trying to contact the party leaders who were part of the Yatra but was unable to do so as the incident occurred in forested area. Congress had launched Parivartan Yatra on April 12 in the state where Assembly elections are due by year end.

Source IBN India 

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