Monday, May 8th, 2006
Raipur – The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) has warned the Chhattisgarh government against recruiting former rebels and police informers as special police officers (SPOs).
‘The Chhattisgarh government is responsible for a spurt in violence and the killings of civilians and SPOs. If the government really wants an end to violence, it must stop recruiting SPOs and wind up the salwa judum (anti-Maoist campaign),’ said Gudsa Usendi, a spokesman of the Dandkaranya Special Zonal Committee, which is a unit of the CPI-Maoist.
He sent a written statement to local media organisations and press representatives working in Bastar district headquarters, Jagdalpur, Sunday.
The state government launched ’salwa judum’ last year in June under the leadership of Congress leader Mahendra Karma.
Later, the government decided to appoint surrendered Maoists and informers as SPOs on a monthly pay of Rs.1,500 and provide them with sophisticated arms.
The SPOs were to help the police and paramilitary forces in targeting Maoists hideout in the thick-forested region of Bastar that includes the worst hit Dantewada district.
Usendi has asked SPOs to resign from their posts and not cooperate with the government in anti-insurgency operations or be ready to face punishment.
Maoist rebels dominate in Chhattisgarh’s half of the total 16 districts and officials say at least 135 people, mostly tribals, have been killed in the state since January this year in spiralling Maoist violence.