Agnivesh takes on Chhattisgarh chief minister

Agnivesh said an all-party team of MPs and MLAs should be sent to the area where "torture and mayhem" were inflicted on the people in several tribals.

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Accusing Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh of having "complicity" in the mob attack on him in Dantewada, social activist Swami Agnivesh today demanded a judicial probe into the incident and lodging of FIR against then SSP SRP Kalluri who "hatched the conspiracy".

Addressing a press meet here, Agnivesh said an all-party team of MPs and MLAs should be sent to the area where "torture and mayhem" were inflicted on the people in several tribal villages from March 11 to 14.

He appealed to the Naxalites in the state to stop their violent activities for three months unless the government insists on continuing the combing operations.

Agnivesh, who was attacked by a mob in Doranpal village on March 26 when he was going to affected villages with relief material, said he will go back to Raipur tomorrow to start a non-violent movement to be joined by various social groups.

He presented before the media a youth who claimed he was a journalism student who was detained and dubbed a Maoist commander. Agnivesh said people held in the region on false charges must be freed.

The attack on his convoy by Salwa Judum members who were led by "non-tribal goons" was an attempt to prevent the truth from coming out about atrocities on tribals there, he said.

Making a direct allegation against Kalluri, who has since been transferred, Agnivesh alleged that he got the 2000-strong mob assembled and "instigated" them.

"It was a part of a conspiracy to eliminate us. It is not enough to transfer him. He should be suspended and an FIR lodged against him," he said, adding that there should be a probe by a retired Supreme Court judge into the incident.

Agnivesh, who met the chief minister yesterday, said Singh should take moral responsibility for the attack on him as well as the "torture" on tribals in villages there.

"It is a failure of the CM's constitutional mandate. He is yet to visit the affected villages. When I earlier asked him about the alleged rape of tribal women and killing of villagers, he said he had no knowledge of it," Agnivesh said.

He said the attack on him took place despite Singh assuring security and asking him to go ahead with his trip.

Asked if he was suggesting that the chief minister "knew what Kalluri intended to do", he said, "Exactly".

Accused Singh of "complicity and duplicity", he said, "The CM is running with the hare and hunting with the hound."

Asked if he still is the Centre's Naxal interlocutor, Agnivesh replied in the affirmative. On whether he apprised the government on the matter, he said his associate Himanshu Kumar had called up home minister P Chidamabaram.

Kumar claimed that the minister refused to talk to him and instead directed him to officials who said it will be looked into.

Agnivesh said he will meet President Pratibha Patil on the issue of attacks on tribals. The policy of political establishment is actually aiding Maoists and Salwa Judum has become a "bhasmasur" (monster), he said.

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