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Chhattisgarh: Army can solve Naxal issue in four hours, but my heart won’t allow it, says Raman Singh

Raman Singh says creating awareness among people, educating them a ‘major solution’.

Written by Sagnik Chowdhury | Raipur | Updated: May 12, 2015 1:31 am
naxal attack, naxal menace, Raman Singh, Chhattisgarh naxal attack, Chhattisgarh, modi Chhattisgarh visit, modi naxal, Naxal attack Bastar, Chhattisgarh news, india news, nation news Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh says creating awareness among people, educating them a ‘major solution’.

Amid talk about a possible revival of the controversial Salwa Judum movement in Chhattisgarh, Chief Minister Raman Singh has said the issue — of local villagers being brought to the forefront in the fight against Naxals — was a “highly sensitive” one.

If villagers, alongside security forces, were to tackle Naxals head-on in the open, the government would have to ensure their protection, Singh told The Indian Express, reacting to suggestions made by some local leaders about the revival of the anti-Naxal force, albeit under a different avatar.

Days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the Naxalism-affected Bastar region on Saturday, Chhavindra Karma, son of late Congress leader and Salwa Judum founder Mahendra Karma, had issued a public statement about launching a people’s awareness campaign or ‘jan jagaran abhiyan’ against Naxals.

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Mahendra Karma was killed, along with other Congress leaders and party workers, in a Naxal attack in Bastar in May 2013.

Naxals have threatened violent reprisal to any attempt at reviving the Salwa Judum, an armed force of villagers set up by the state government in 2005 to combat Naxalism. Terming it illegal and unconstitutional, the Supreme Court had in 2011 ordered that it should be disbanded immediately.

But the CM claimed that “Salwa Judum was a people’s movement, a ‘jan andolan’.” “On the issue of garnering consent among people, making them ready and creating a certain atmosphere — there should be awareness among the people. If we stand up against Naxals on the streets and bring the villagers along, I have to ensure they are protected. How far we should bring villagers — to the forefront of our fight against Naxals – is a highly sensitive issue. Creating awareness among people and educating them is a major solution,” said Singh.

He claimed that he had never had a moment of doubt on whether the Naxal problem could be resolved, adding that the state government was working slowly but steadily to counter it.  “It took 40,000 jawans as long as 12 years to hunt down (sandalwood smuggler) Veerappan. Here, there are 1,000 Veerappans,” Singh said.

Stating that the Army would never be deployed to tackle the issue, Singh said, “The Constitution does not allow deployment against our own people, and neither does my heart. For the sake of argument, if the Army is deployed, the issue can be solved in four hours. But this should never happen”.

The most pressing demand made by the state to the Centre, said Singh, was for state-of-the-art equipment to detect IEDs, which were responsible for as many as 90 per cent of the casualties. He said he has also urged the Centre to deploy battalions of the Nagaland Armed Police Force, as they were “most familiar’’ with such terrain.
Singh also slammed the earlier UPA government at the Centre for allegedly citing environmental concerns and preservation of tribal culture as excuses to stall development in Naxalism-affected areas. “The UPA government had taken policy decisions that ignored the “ameer dharti ke gareeb log (poor people of a rich land),” he said.

“Abujhmad (in Bastar) was cut off from the rest of the world Not a single survey was conducted here.  To keep tribal culture alive, you have to first keep the tribals there alive,” he said.

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  1. Dhurandar Bhatawdekar
    May 12, 2015 at 10:26 pm
    NAXALS KILL MORE POLICE MEN THAN THE STANI KILLINGS OF OUR ARMY JAWANS. JAWANS KILL MORE KASHMIRIS THAN THE KASHMIRIS KILLING ANY JAWANS. MAOISTS KILL MANY PEOPLE/POLICE/BSF THAN ANY KASHMIRI KILLING ANY POLICE/JAWAN OR PEOPLE . THE INDIAN GOVT.SHOULD USE ARMY AND AIR FORCE TO ELIMINATE THIS NAXAL MENACE, BUT WONT BECAUSE THE NAXALS AND THE MAOISTS ARE WELL TRAINED AND ARE INDIANS WITH RELATIVES IN THE ARMED/POLICE/CIVIL/POLITICAL PLACES. THESE PEOPLE ARE ARMED WITH THE BEST OF WEAPONS. THE ARMY AND POLICE CAN GO WHERE PEOPLE HAVE NO ARMS AND AMMO.
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      Harish
      May 12, 2015 at 8:28 am
      Mr Raman singh you people want earn political mileage ,not safety of the country .Just political drama .Keep the poor police and villagers on front of bullet and enjoy your Biryani with Congress ,CPIM leaders in five star hotels .Day time wear white cloth come out clean and say rubbish.Fooling days gone come to reality.
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        P.THAPAR
        May 12, 2015 at 11:31 am
        THESE NAXALS MORE POLICE MEN THAN STAN KILLS OUR ARMY JAWANSDIAN GOVT.SHOULD USE ARMY AND AIR FORCE TO ELIMINATE THIS NAXAL MENANCE, SOONER THE BETTER.
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          Jaspal Singh
          May 12, 2015 at 8:58 am
          Man does not live by bread alone, But he does not live without bread either. Teach them basic skills for earning to eat two square meals a day. They are not consume-s. But a secure shelter with locally available materials is indispensable. We know this. And this information should be put to use.
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            Milind
            May 12, 2015 at 10:53 am
            kindly you bloody politicians you cant have balls to take action, then don't comment keeping guns on the army's shoulder. Army what cannot do, you can't imagine. let the the indian army do what is for. politicians create problem then look for solution. how come naxals are getting modern weapons?
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