We are in consultation with Law Ministry: Chidambaram
The Centre will decide in the next few days whether or not to seek a review of the Supreme Court ruling that Salwa Judum be disbanded and tribals deployed as Special Police Officers (SPOs) in operations against Maoists in Chhattisgarh be disarmed.
The Home Ministry, in consultation with the Law and Justice Ministry, was examining the court directions, Home Minister P. Chidambaram told the Rajya Sabha during question hour on Wednesday.
The court gave directions on where the SPOs could be engaged and where they could not be used.
“This judgment has far-reaching implications. We have to approach this matter with due caution and care,” the Minister said.
Asked whether the Centre decided to seek a review of the decision, he said: “We will take a decision on it in the next few days.”
The Chhattisgarh government had promulgated an ordinance to absorb the SPOs posted in Maoist areas in the regular police.
“The Chhattisgarh Auxiliary Armed Police Force Ordinance, 2011 is within the legislative powers of the State.”
The ordinance dealt with one part of the judgment and the larger issues rose were under the consideration of the Home Ministry. “A direction has also been given by the court to the Centre to cease and desist forthwith from using any of its funds in supporting, directly or indirectly, the recruitment of SPOs by the State governments for operations against Maoists.
“The Centre is examining those directions in consultation with the Law Ministry.”
SPOs in 9 States
The Minister said the SPOs were engaged in nine States, including Jammu and Kashmir, under a long-standing arrangement. On July 5, the court directed Chhattisgarh to immediately stop using the SPOs against Naxals and recall all firearms issued to them.
Mr. Chidambaram said Rs. 2,500 crore was allocated for development of Naxal-affected districts in 2010-11 and Rs. 3,000 crore in 2011-11.
“In all the affected districts, a very large number of works have been taken up and completed.”