New Delhi: India ranks third among world nations most inflicted with terrorism and insurgency related deaths, after the areas ridden with violence by ISIS and Nigeria’s Boko Haram, the Supreme Court was told today.
Making this submission, the Chhattisgarh government also claimed in the apex court that more people were being killed in this Naxal-affected state than terror-hit Jammu and Kashmir and the involvement of extreme left-wing activists in the area was adding fuel to the fire.
“Today more security personnel are deployed in Chhattisgarh than in Jammu and Kashmir. Several policemen are being killed in Naxal violence in these areas. We are taking steps to contain the Naxal problems. We are carrying out lot of infrastructural work over there. We are passing through a phase,” Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told a bench of Justices M B Lokur and Adarsh Kumar Goel.
“India ranks third in the world among the countries which are impacted by terrorism and inflicted with terror related deaths after the violence affected areas under ISIS and Boko Haram,” Mehta said.
He also urged the court to pass some directions for keeping social activists like Nandini Sundar out of the area alleging that “they just want the flame to keep burning”.
To this, the court said, “this can’t be a solution. They (activist) would want you (state) to be kept out of the area”.
Mehta, who appeared along with Chhattisgarh government standing counsel Atul Jha, said “we can’t go out of the area. It is a state and government will have to look after the people. We have responsibilities towards the people”.
“Keeping the flame burning is not a solution. There is a CD which shows them shouting ‘Lal Salaam’ slogans and sloganeering against the state. This will make the problem to continue. Everyone wants peace,” the ASG said.
When the bench asked the Chhattisgarh government about the security of political activist Manish Kunjam, Mehta said he was already under security cover.
Maintaining that he had initially said he does not need guards carrying rifles but those with smaller weapons, he said “now he again wanted rifle guards. We can provide that. If he wants central forces security cover that can also be provided. We are ready to provide central security cover to even petitioner Nandini Sundar.”
The suggestion of security cover to Sundar was rejected by senior advocate Ashok Desai and the counsel appearing for Sunder and others, alleging “they wanted to keep an eye on her in the garb of security cover. This is the behaviour of the government”.
Mehta said if this was the view, then he would withdraw
his suggestion of providing security cover to the petitioner.
Countering Mehta, Desai alleged that recently effigies of petitioner and other activists were burnt by police personnel who were in uniform.
The ASG said investigation has been ordered into the effigy burning and assured the court that those found guilty will not be spared.
The bench asked the Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar and ASG to come up with innovative solutions to tackle the problem on the next date of hearing on November 11.
The apex court had on October 21 told the Centre to consider talking to the Naxals as Noble peace prize winner Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos did with FARC rebels to end the five-decade-old civil war in that country.
It had asked the government to authorise someone to hold peace talks with Naxals and referred to the amicable settlement reached by two groups in Nagaland at the intervention of a church.
The apex court had proposed peace talks, after CBI apprised it about the results of its investigation into the alleged violence of security forces in March 2011 in Morpalli, Tadmetla and Timpuram villages in Chhattisgarh.
On July 5, 2011, the Court had ordered a CBI enquiry into these incidents of violence which later charge sheeted several Special Police Officers for it.