The anti-Maoist vigilante group Salwa Judum is on it way out in Chhattisgarh and the state government has been told not to support its activists, the central government told the Supreme Court Tuesday.
“We have instructed the state government not to extend any support to Salwa Judum activists,” Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium told an apex court bench of Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice S.S. Nijjar.
The central government said this in the course of the hearing of a petition by Nandini Sunder seeking action against Salwa Judum activists for committing excesses against tribals.
Sunder also sought the removal of central paramilitary forces from schools and ashrams (welfare homes) in the state.
The solicitor general said: “We have a problem (of rehabilitating the tribals) that should be dealt with in a humane, fair and just manner.”
He said that every step was being taken to instil confidence among tribals.
Even as the central government distanced itself from Salwa Judum, the court pulled up the Chhattisgarh government for filing an affidavit which sounded as if the state government was holding a brief for the Salwa Judum and withholding information.
Referring to the affidavit, Justice Reddy said that there was no mention of the number of complaints against Salwa Judum activists, what action has been taken, how many cases were registered and what happened in them.
The court said that it would be in a better position if the actual situation was reported by the state government.
The court said that the state government’s affidavit no where states “we have not supported the Salwa Judum, we don’t support it or we will not support it”.
When counsel Manish Singhvi, appearing for the state government, sought more time to file a comprehensive affidavit, the court asked him not to be adversarial in his approach.
If some one points an aberration they should not be treated as “adversaries and branded and labelled”, the court said.
The solicitor general earlier told the court that the problem on the ground was very complex and no overnight solution was possible.
He said 10 flagship schemes have been launched to address tribals’ problems with an independent mechanism to monitor their implementation.
The court said: “Nothing would happen in a day or two. The efforts should be in the right directions. You must also state your difficulties.”