Salwa Judum founder Mahendra Karma’s son Chhavindra Karma and former leaders of the anti-Maoist militia formed “Vikas Sangharsh Samiti” on Monday in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh, which will carry forward the work of Salwa Judum in Bastar.
“I had invited all the leaders and workers associated with the Salwa Judum for a meeting on Monday. The new samiti will strive to bring peace to Bastar,” Chhavindra Karma told The Hindu .
Asked if it could be called Salwa Judum part two, Mr. Karma said, “Yes, you can call it so. The new outfit will undertake padyatra (marches) in various parts of Bastar to spread awareness against Maoism. We will seek the help of the State government so that our awareness campaigns would be followed by development works in the region.”
The Supreme Court had declared the Salwa Judum “illegal and unconstitutional” and had ordered its disbandment in 2011.
Led by former Congress leader Mahendra Karma, the anti-Maoist militia was blamed for large-scale “forcible displacement” of Bastar tribals and extra-judicial killings.
“The Salwa Judum part two will be peaceful. Our main aim is to finish Maoism in Bastar and bring development.
Already more than 18 village panchayats have banned the entry of Maoists in their villages,” claimed Mr. Karma.
Chaitram Mattami, P.Vijay, Sattar Ali and Sukhram Dadi, who had led Salwa Judum in their respective areas in its first edition, attended the meeting on Monday.
Chaitram Mattami, P. Vijay and Mr. Chhavindra Karma would be leading the new anti-Maoist outfit and its first major event will take place in Karma’s ancestral village Faraspal in Dantewada on the second death anniversary of Mahendra Karma on May 25. He died in a Maoist attack in 2013.
All Salwa Judum leaders from Konta block in Sukma to Bhopalpattnam block in Bijpur district of Bastar attended Monday’s meeting, claimed Mr. Karma.