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The Supreme Court on Tuesday slammed the Chhattisgarh government for using tribals as special police officers (SPOs) in its Salwa Judum counter-insurgency operation against the Maoists , saying this should immediately stop.

An apex court bench of Justice B. Sudershan Reddy and Justice S.S Nijjar directed the Chhattisgarh government to immediately “cease and desist” from recruiting tribals as SPOs for Salwa Jadum.The court said that the use of such ill-trained and unqualified tribals as SPOs was against the moral and constituional mandate of the government.The court directed the Chhattisgarh government to recover all the firearms given to SPOs along with the ammunition. It directed the central government to ensure that its finances are not used for funding such illegal activities.

It also ordered a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into an attack on social activist Swami Agnivesh in a tribal area of the state March 23, 2011.The court order came in the wake of a petition by a Delhi University professor Nandini Sunder seeking a ban on Salwa Jadum activities and relief and rehabilitation of the internally displaced tribals.

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