Chhattisgarh tightlipped over security forces vacating schools

Friday, November 19, 2010

RAIPUR - A day after the apex court asked the state government to remove security forces from schools, Chhattisgarh Friday chose to remain tightlipped about when it will begin the process.

“It’s a very complex issue and I can’t comment on it… vacating these schools needs a lot of thought,” a senior official at the police headquarters who co-ordinates anti-Maoist operation in the state, told IANS.

A Supreme Court bench made a tough remark Thursday against the state government while going through its submission that since central forces were stationed in schools, it has made alternative arrangements for running schools in the Maoist-hit villages.

The bench comprising Justices B. Sudershan Reddy and S.S. Nijjar dismissed the state submission and said “we are not going to buy this argument. You have to vacate the schools”.

“Since the Supreme Court had clearly asked for security forces to vacate the schools, the state government hardly has any option left now. But it will be a very difficult process to shift central troopers in alternatives places in thickly forested Maoist-stronghold areas where only a few building structures are available for the forces to take shelter,” the official added.

The school education has been severely hit in the troubled regions of the state as rebels had bombed dozens of schools in Chhattisgarh, mainly in remote pockets of Bijapur, Narayanpur, Kanker and Dantewada districts in the post-2005 period, because the state government allowed para-military troopers to station themselves in these buildings for carrying out anti-Maoist offensives.

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