Maoists recruiting children in Bastar to augment their strength: C’garh to SC

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 30 Aug 2018 09:11:55



THE Chhattisgarh Government on Wednesday alleged in the Supreme Court that Maoists in Bastar were recruiting children to augment their strength, saying it would ruin the future generation of the tribals in the area. The State Government sought dismissal of a plea seeking an independent probe into the August 6 incident in which 15 alleged Maoists were gunned down in an encounter in Sukma and said it was the “worst-affected naxal districts” in India.

Giving details of the number of fatalities in Maoist violence in the state since 2007, the state Government said that 1,020 security personnel and 45 Government officials were killed in such incidents. Raising preliminary objections on the petition, the State has said that 1,027 security personnel were injured in Maoist violence since 2007 while the ultras looted 579 arms during this period.

“It is pertinent to mention that Maoists in Bastar division have been recruiting young children to augment their strength by forcing their parents to part with their children. The same has been mentioned in various reports recently,” it said. “The exploitation of small children by Maoists is a well-known fact and by putting guns in the hands of young children Maoists have been ruining their childhood and future generations of the tribals in Bastar,” the state said in
an affidavit.

It said that since 2007 till August 22 this year, 1,955 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have been recovered while 2,238 arms have been seized by the police.
“Besides Maoists have destroyed infrastructure worth crores of rupees which adversely affected not only development process but also routine lives of tribals of Bastar,” the Government has said.

It has also countered the submissions of the petitioner NGO, Civil Liberties Committee (Telangana State), and said that neither any woman, nor any minor was killed in the August 6 encounter incident. It claimed that the petition was filed within three days of the incident “with a design to stop the security forces from carrying out anti-naxal operations”, while alleging that “fake photos” of the incident were annexed with the plea by the petitioner.

The State had earlier told a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that “bogus claims” have been made in the plea. The petition, opposed by the state, had sought a probe into the encounter by either the CBI or a special investigation team. It also sought a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of high court in the matter.

After the alleged August 6 encounter, the bodies of 15 persons, alleged to be rebels, were recovered.