//Treat Naxalism as a social problem, Rights activists to govt

Treat Naxalism as a social problem, Rights activists to govt

New Delhi, Apr 13: Terming the government-sponsored anti-naxal movement in Chhattisgarh ‘Salwa Judum’ a "dangerous" movement, human rights activists today asked the government to facilitate a "sincere" dialogue with Maoists instead of creating armed village defence committees.

They also asked the government to treat naxalite issue as a "law and order problem instead of a social one." The activists were part of a 14-member fact finding team from five NGOs — People’s Union for Democratic Rights, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (Chhattisgarh), People’s Union for Civil liberties (Jharkhand), Association for Protection of Democratic Rights and Indian Association of People’s Lawyers — who visited Chhattisgarh between 28 November and December 1, 2005 to investigate the violation of human rights during the Salwa Judum campaign.

"Treat naxal movement as a social problem and don’t send in the para-military," said Gutam Navlakha, one of the members of the fact-finding team, adding that "Salwa Judum is an atrocious movement which is aimed at uprooting the Adivasis from their native village." The activists say that thousands have been displaced because of Salwa Judum as villagers are asked to join their ranks or face the consequences.