Saturday, January 26, 2008

Chhattisgarh governor salutes Salwa Judum in R Day speech

By IANS

Raipur : Chhattisgarh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan Saturday praised the Salwa Judum civil militia movement in the state as "the biggest ever decisive move" to "protect democracy" against Maoists.

In his Republic Day speech at the Police Parade Ground here, the governor said: "I salute the tribal people's Salwa Judum that has given a direction to the state to counter the Maoism storm."

In his 10-minute speech, Narasimhan described the Salwa Judum as "the biggest ever decisive move by people in the post-independence period inspired to protect democracy against Maoist extremism.

"The movement will find a place in history as the Salwa Judum has now become a blaze from a flame," he said. "It's not only the duty of the state government to encourage the cadres but also the people to back them to wipe out Maoists."
Earlier, Narasimhan hoisted the national flag and presided over an impressive cultural presentation by school students. Around 5,000 people thronged the Police Parade Ground to watch the parade.

Chief Minister Raman Singh hoisted the tri-colour at Ambikapur, the district headquarters of Surguja.

The tribal population of Bastar launched the Salwa Judum in June 2005 against the Maoists. The government later provided arms and monetary backup.

Maoist guerrillas have killed nearly 1,000 people since the movement was launched. Over 50,000 tribal people have fled their villages to take shelter in 23 government-run relief camps due to threats from insurgents.

The governor also appreciated the government for its efforts to address the basic needs of the poor, especially the Food Security Scheme aimed at providing 35 kg rice a month to each of the 3.4 million poor families at Rs.3 per kg.

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