The following is a statement by Ms. Nandini Sundar, Mr. E. A. S. Sarma and Mr. Ramachandra Guha, who have moved the Supreme Court for steps to end civil strife in the tribal areas:
As co-petitioners in a Public Interest Litigation before the Supreme Court (WP 250/2007)
urging the end of civil strife in Chattisgarh, we write to express our shock and horror at the detonation of a bus in Dantewada district by Maoists on 17th May, killing around 50 innocent civilians.
We condemn such senseless and inhuman violence and those responsible for it.
Violence has no place in a democracy and those that adopt violent means to express themselves cannot and should not be condoned in any manner whatsoever. We convey our sympathy to the families of all whose lives have been lost in this ghastly incident.
It is unfortunate that innocent tribals and other civilians are caught in the ongoing violence in Dantewada and other parts of eastern and central India. We reiterate our consistent plea to the government to reach out to the tribals and the other local communities in these areas through tangible confidence building measures, including the announcement and implementation of a policy that recognises the Constitutional rights of the tribals in the notified areas. We feel that any strategy based on violence will prove counterproductive in the long run.
We firmly believe that democratic processes alone will yield a positive outcome in these areas where the extent of violence seems to be on the increase.
E. A. S. Sarma