‘Salwa Judum losing steam’ | india | Hindustan Times
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‘Salwa Judum losing steam’

The controversial Salwa Judum movement that started in Chhattisgarh nearly five years ago has lost its momentum, the government told Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2010 23:43 IST
HT Correspondent

The controversial Salwa Judum movement that started in Chhattisgarh nearly five years ago has lost its momentum, the government told Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

The movement had started out as a revolt of local tribals against the excesses of Maoists in Chhattisgarh, with encouragement from the state government. “However, the movement has lost its momentum,” Minister of State in the home ministry Ajay Maken told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

Maken did not elaborate since the Supreme Court was hearing a related case of allegations of violation of human rights by Naxalites and Salwa Judum activists.

Maken’s statement comes in the backdrop of the home ministry’s renewed emphasis on accelerated development of Maoist affected districts as well as police action.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram had on Monday emphasised on the ministry’s two-pronged approach that had ensured massive allocation of funds for 34 Naxal-affected districts.

“Extra money is being given under various programmes… We have programmes that apply throughout the country applying to these 34 districts also, and, additional money is being given,” the home minister said.

Chidambaram, however, noted that the states were slow in spending the allocated funds. “Unfortunately, not all the money is being spent... I think money must be spent,” he said.

The home minister emphasised on taking development to the extent possible to these areas. As and when security forces grain control over these areas, “we must rush in development. That is our approach; and that will continue to be our approach”.

UAV deployment
With no clear word on the effectiveness of the Unarmed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) being tested in Chhattisgarh, the home ministry has approached the National Technical Research Organisation to deploy UAVs under its control for anti-Naxal operations. “With the rains just round the corner and concerns that the UAVs undertrial were noisy, we are going to borrow the UAVs for now,” a government official said.