The Supreme Court judgement on disbanding of Salwa Judum will impact on the anti-Naxal operations, says the Centre which is planning to call a meeting of Chief Ministers of Orissa and Jharkhand after Chhattisgarh’s action on a new law on the issue.
Home Minister P. Chidambaram also says that there are reports that CPI (Maoist) and the PCPA may be re-grouping in the Jangalmahal area of West Bengal which has been asked to be on alert.
“Well, I think it will,” he told PTI when he was asked whether the recent Supreme Court judgement on disbanding and disarming tribals deployed as Special Police Officers (SPOs) will affect the anti-Naxal operations.
“At least Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh (Raman Singh) strongly feels that this judgement will impact anti-Naxal operations,” Mr. Chidambaram said.
The Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh proposes to take some steps in the next couple of days including making a new law to govern SPOs, he said.
“I told him that I will await his (Singh) action because he is the principal respondent in the case. I will wait to see what Chhattisgarh does before I call the Chief Ministers of Orissa and Jharkhand,” he said.
The Minister said SPOs were engaged in one manner or the other in anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh and in Orissa. The Supreme Court judgement applied only to engaging them in anti-Naxal operations in Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Jharkhand.
Asked whether Maoists were re-grouping in Naxal hit areas of West Bengal, Mr. Chidambaram said, “There are reports that the CPI (Maoist) and the PCPA may be re-grouping in Jangalmahal area. We have shared these reports with the West Bengal government and (have) asked them to be on alert.”
To a question whether West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was soft towards Maoists, Mr. Chidambaram said there was no basis for him to agree with such an assumption.
“There is no basis at all that the Maoists supported Trinamool Congress. I do not have any basis to come to that conclusion.”
To a question whether West Bengal government has sought additional Central paramilitary forces, he said, “They have requested that the forces deployed in three districts of West Midnapore, Bankura and Purulia must remain in West Bengal which we have agreed for the time being.
“They have also told us that they intend to release fifty or so people who have been arrested. They told us that also,” he said.