New Delhi (PTI): "You cannot give arms to somebody and allow him to kill," the Supreme Court said on Monday while taking a serious note of a petition alleging that the Chattisgarh government was allegedly arming civilians involved in "Salwa Judum" movement to fight naxals.
"It is a question of law and order. You (state government) cannot give arms to somebody (a civilian) and allow him to kill. You will be an abettor of the offence under section 302 of the Indian Penal Code," a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice Aftab Alam said.
The Bench said a neutral agency should inquire and assess whether people had joined Judum camps on their own.
The Court's remarks came during the hearing of two petitions seeking a direction to the state government to refrain from allegedly supporting and encouraging the "Salwa Judum," a people's movement to counter naxalism.
The state government had earlier denied that Judum was a state-sponsored movement and said that action shall be taken if any Judum activist transgresses the confines of the law.
The PILs also alleged that the condition in Judum camps was bad and people involved in the movement should be allowed to go back to the forests in view of the upcoming sowing season.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium said he met officials of the Intelligence Bureau officials and concerned ministry on the issue. He said the government has asked the Director, National Institute of Criminology, to probe the ground situation in these camps.
He said if the report does not satisfy the court, the Centre would be open to further suggestions.