Bhopal, May 12: Chhattisgarh DGP Vishwa Ranjan has made it quite clear that the spontaneous people-led anti-Maoist drive, salwa judum, was there to stay regardless of the shrill campaign launched by its detractors. Human rights bodies were making a concerted effort to discredit the popular movement with the help of their worldwide network without caring a fig for the country’s national interest. A Nobel Peace Prize winner had written to the Prime Minister seeking the release of a naxalite sympathiser Binayak Sen, who is currently being tried in court under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, Unlawful Activities Act and the Chhattisgarh People’s Security Act. Both the Supreme Court and the high court had summarily rejected his petition for bail.
The DGP informed that Union minister Shivraj Patil had during his trip to the state on Sunday clarified to mediapersons that it was entirely the government’s business to decide on how best to deal with the Maoist menace. The Centre, on its part, would do all in its power to assist in the process. Mr Patil, he said, may possibly have been the first home minister who actually visited two of the worst Naxal-affected areas — Aranpur and Pamed — in the Dantewada district of Bastar.
Accompanied by chief minister Raman Singh, Union home secretary Madhukar Gupta, state home minister and the chief secretary, he met CRPF jawans, 17 battalions of which are currently posted in the state. Quite apart from sanctioning a satellite phone for the force to prevent the breakdown of communication in a crisis, it was also decided to build a cellphone tower and a hospital in the area. To leave the door ajar for negotiations, Mr Patil described the Maoists as "misguided" individuals who could be brought back to the mainstream if they decided to give up violence and destruction of government property. Mr Vishwa Ranjan said, "misimpressions" were being spread that salwa judum was a state-sponsored movement when in reality it was entirely people-led