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Scrap Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, demands former CM Jogi

From the Indian Express:

Joining the outcry against the alleged draconian law, former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi on Monday demanded repealing the controversial Chhattisgarh Special Security Act 2005, saying that such laws cannot help solve the problem of Naxalism.

“This law restricts everyone, including the media. The true picture about the developments and happenings in the tribal areas is not coming out”, he said while participating in the debate in the Vidhan Sabha on a Congress sponsored notice on “deteriorating law and order situation” in the state.

“World over, there is an outcry against Chhattisgarh Special Security Act 2005 over right’s activist Dr Binayak Sen’s case. I will not say anything about this specific case as the matter is sub-judice. But, the state government must scrap this law”, he said and pointed out that he had been opposing Salwa Judum — the controversial anti-Naxalite movement of Bastar — right from the beginning.

“I had always maintained that Salwa Judum was not a spontaneous movement of the people as was being propagated. Now, the government itself withdrew from it following a case in the Supreme Court”, he said and urged the state government to adopt a three pronged strategy to fight Naxalism.

Pointing out that the centre was extending all help to the state in its fight against Naxalism by providing funds and Para-military forces, Jogi said the BJP government lacked “political will” to fight the rebels and it was not talking any initiative to boost the morale of the security forces engaged in the fight against the Maoists. “Even senior police officers posted in Naxalite areas did not have proper accommodation. How will you raise the morale of the forces?” he asked.

“Even while fighting the rebels, the government should also step up its efforts for socio-economic development of the Naxalite affected regions.

Under various schemes, the centre is pumping funds for development of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) districts. Is its benefits are percolating to the people of affected areas?” he asked simultaneous efforts were also required to find a political solution to the problem.

“Maoists also belong to our country. They are misguided elements. We need a political solution to win them back to the mainstream”, Jogi said and cited the example of Nepal where the Maoists preferred to join the political mainstream and even the government. “It’s possible to bring them back to the mainstream”, he added.

Other speakers from the opposition raised the issue of murder of two journalists — one in Bilaspur city and one near Gariaband in Raipur district recently — pointing out that those involved in the crimes have not been arrested so far. Referring to the alleged gang rape by engineering college students in the state capital, Congress legislators said state’s crime graph was rising.