Maoist interlocutor Sharma defends Chhattisgarh tribals
Raipur, May 5 (ANI): Maoist appointed mediator B.D. Sharma has stressed the need to review cases against Chhattisgarh tribals by a state committee even as he maintained that they have been ripped off their basic rights.
Chhattisgarh Government has formed a committee to enquire cases against 347 tribals languishing in jails under the guidance of former Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Nirmala Buch.
Talking to media here, Sharma condemned the unethical arrest and imprisonment of of several tribals across the state and demanded a detailed enquiry into such cases.
"The strangest thing today is that there is no count of tribal people languishing in prisons in the state. Most of them have been arrested without solid grounds. I think it is important to look into the matter and I welcome the formation of a committee, which is aiming to do so. I hope a detailed enquiry is conducted after observations made by this committee," said Sharma.
Sharma further said that tribals are not poor but they have been deprived of their land rights by forgery.
"I want to highlight the fact that India doesn't have poor tribals. They do not need the comforts of an urban lifestyle because that is not their priorities. They have been ripped off their rights, their lands and that is why they are in such situations. I am sure you will not call people poor because they have been subject to fraud and forgery," he added.
Meanwhile, Sharma refused to comment on the release of Sukma District Collector Alex Paul Menon, saying that his work as a mediator is over.
"I do not want to comment on anything regarding the collector's abduction and then release. I just acted as a mediator in the entire episode and have nothing more to say," said Sharma.
After holding Menon captive for 12 days, Maoists finally released him in Chintalnar region of Chhattisgarh on Thursday.
The Maoists had kidnapped Menon after killing two of his bodyguards on April 21, while he was meeting with villagers of Majhipara village in the Keralapal area of the Naxal-infected district. (ANI)
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