Ahead of PM Narendra Modi’s visit to Dantewada, several leaders associated with Salwa Judum Monday came together in the Maoist-hit district of Chhattisgarh and formed Vikas Sangharsh Samiti to counter the rebels.
Chhavindra Karma, son of Salwa Judum architect Mahendra Karma, presided the meeting which was also attended by leaders Sattar Ali, P Vijay and Sukhram Dadi. They all feature in the Maoists’ hit-list and carry elaborate police protection. Several former leaders of the armed resistance, including Mahendra Karma, have been killed by the Maoists.
Chhavindra said that they would launch an anti-Maoist padyatra on May 25 — the second death anniversary of his father. Claiming his initiative as “Salwa Judum Part-II”, he told The Indian Express: “The Maoist pressure has increased in the recent years. My family has opposed them since beginning. We want to free this area from the Maoists. Therefore, all the leaders who were associated earlier came together today.”
“We will move through villages in Bastar and make people aware about the real face of the Maoists,” he added.
Exactly a decade ago, Mahendra Karma had launched Salwa Judum. The movement, which claimed to have begun as a padyatra of tribals against the Maoists, was supported by the Raman Singh government.