Murphy's Law: Where Legal Vigilantes Roam


October 17,2008: The Indian National Human Rights Commission has determined that the Salwa Judum (an anti-Maoist vigilante organization) has not violated the civil rights of the Maoist rebels. The Salwa Judum was organized among tribes in eastern India. The Maoists, communist rebels who have been fighting since the 1960s to establish a communist dictatorship in India, have long used terror to coerce the tribes, who live in rural areas, to support them (by supplying food and information, and not talking to the police). The Maoist terror has left many tribal people dead or wounded, and the Salwa Judum was organized three years to defend tribal villages from Maoist terror.

Some Indian human rights activists took the tribes to court, accusing them of illegal vigilantism, for fighting the Maoists. The Maoists have much support among Indian leftists. For example, the Communist Party of India is a powerful political force, and supports the Maoists, while officially disapproving of the Maoist terrorism. Thus many Indian leftists see dead Maoists as victims. The Indian courts, and the National Human Rights Commission, after deliberation, disagreed, and declared the Salwa Judum legal vigilantes. The commission also found that some leftist critics of the Salwa Judum had distorted the truth in an attempt to make their case.

The Maoists have become more of a problem of late, and much bloodier than the Islamic terrorism in Kashmir. The Indian CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force), a paramilitary organization that deals with terrorism, has actually suffered most of its losses (30 dead) this year in eastern India, fighting the Maoists, rather than in Kashmir (19 dead). However, the CRPF has killed more terrorists (80), than Maoists (47). The army and police are also involved chasing down the Kashmir terrorists and eastern India Maoists.


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