Stop the Killings in Bastar! JNU Forum Against War on People

Posted by asong4nextday

Stop the Killings in Bastar!
Let us stand united with the people’s resistance against corporate loot!

The NDA government is preparing for the phase 3 of Operation Green Hunt in the central heartlands of this country with the announcement of “Chhattisgarh Mission 2016”. This brutal war waged by the ruling classes of this country is against the most oppressed adivasis and Dalits who have been fighting for their right to land, livelihood and dignity and against corporate land grab in this region. Brain child of the Chidambaram-Manmohan government, Operation Green Hunt was enforced in the year 2009 as a full forced military onslaught in the mineral rich forest regions of central India in the name of wiping out the Maoist movement. In actuality, the brutal face of this war was exposed with the atrocities perpetrated by government aided militia like the Salwa Judum, the rape and murder of many adivasi women by paramilitary forces and hounding and forced displacement of adivasis and dalits across this region. The huge deployment of CRPFs, CoBRA, Greyhounds and paramilitary forces trained specially for combat by the ruling classes in the name of Operation Green Hunt while simultaneously signing MoUs and contracts with big corporates and mining companies exposes the agenda of land grab and mining spearheaded by the Indian government. This plundering of land, rivers and forests is facilitated by burning hundreds of villages, extra-judicial torture, brutal killing and rape of innocent adivasis and dalits by brute paramilitary forces like cobra, grey hounds, C-60 etc. Following the steps of the UPA led government; the present Modi-Rajnath government has intensified its military assault on the most oppressed adivasis of this country. This war has further been extended to the Western Ghats with forces like Thunderbolt being deployed for combing and routine harassment of dalits, adivasis and landless poor.

As part of the all-out military offensive in Chhattisgarh and surrounding areas planned by the Indian government, journalist, lawyers, doctors, and democratic rights activists have been targeted and forced to evict and leave Chhattisgarh. Chhattisgarh Mission 2016 equipped with the most advanced warfare machinery is already underway with forest land being cleared for air bases and aerial attacks. With choppers doing aerial surveys and with the agenda of wiping out Maoist entirely with underway last year and prepares for an all-out offensive in Chhattisgarh and the regions surrounding it, more than 600 batallions have been deployed by the ruling classes which is one of the biggest state orchestrated terrors of recent time unleashed by Indian state on the most marginalised adivasis and dalits of central India fighting assertively to uphold their right of land, dignity and livelihood.

As the Indian government is gearing up for its military attack, it is using the most advance satellite technology of ISRO for mapping the region though neither UPA nor NDA government has ever given any sincere thought of employing any measure to mitigate the sufferance of the deprived population of this region. In the name of peaceful election, Election Commission deployed thousands of para-military forces, police personnel, chopper, video cameras, at the interior of Bastar and adjacent areas. In the name of alleged Maoist violence the state of Chhattisgarh with the help of Central government has not only terrorised the residents of the area but also taking all the measures to suppress any kind of resistance against this violence anywhere in subcontinent.

The corporate media goes hand in gloves with BJP led government in creating an atmosphere of terror and framing those who are trying to intervene or to raise voice against such brutal oppression. On the other hand journalists who went to Bastar region and raised questions against this state sponsored terrorism, were either attacked or arrested. In Bastar region itself almost 4 journalists were being picked up by police and journalists like Malini Subramanium are being threatened and forced to leave the place. Malini’s criticism against police oppression on adivasi villagers sparked off the anger of local militia ‘Samajik Ekta Manch’ who took a march against her and vandalised her house. It took 2 days for police to take an FIR and almost no action was taken against it. Bela Bhatia, a human rights activist and social researcher was labeled as Naxal and threatened by Mahila Ekta Manch. Her fault was she helped an adivasi woman to file a complaint of gang rape and grievous sexual assault against security personnel in last November. And no arrest was made. In fact that was the first time security personnel were accused under the Criminal Law Amendment Act (2013). Incidents of gang rapes, sexual assault on women by security personnel is rampant there and they go unnoticed by the BJP led Government of Chhattisgarh. In the name of two pronged effort, development and security measures, to combat Naxalite movement, several adivasi youth have been arrested in Bastar region and kept in jail without any trial. When JagLAG (Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group), started their work at courts of Bastar region they realized there is no bail system for the cases of Naxalite accused and such cases are numerous. However the more the legal aid group became active and effective the more they faced problems from BJP backed lawyers and goons and forced them to leave the region. We all know that after an acid attack on Soni Sori how her family is being heckled, tortured, and threatened and the sole motive behind this was to stop her from raising her voice against the atrocities committed by the security forces and to crush her determination to fight against it in every given situation.

After effectively almost driving out doctors, journalists, social and human right activists from this region now people like IG Kalluri have started a discourse on insider outsider. A team, Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression consisting of academics and activists went for fact finding in the districts of Kanker, Bastar, Sukma and Bijapur. The team, comprising of Prof Nandini Sundar of Delhi University, Prof. Archana Prasad, a member of the JNU faculty and an office bearer of AIDWA, Vineet Tiwari of the Joshi-Adhikar Institute and of the CPI, and Sanjay Parate of the CPI(M) faced opposition from local militia, mostly re-emerged from the disbanded militia Salwa Judum. This team found these districts in its most lawless state possible. Under the gundaraj of police, CRPF, IAF alongside these state sponsored militias the government is abusing its own laws. This team also proposed for a political dialogue between government and their immediate opposition there, including CPI Maoist, but not heeding to their constructive proposal this team was accused of siding with Maoist and a false criminal accusation was made on the team. The corporate media also plunged into this dirty game of framing professors and other activists as outsiders and sympathisers of Maoist who are instigating villagers to join hands with Maoists. Two women, Mangla of Nama and Manju Kawasi of Gadiras, Sukma district who helped them in their fact finding were harassed and detained by police.

This incident absolutely made it evident that the government is in no way interested in having any kind of dialogue with anyone as their sole motive is to facilitate a corporate loot of the age old natural resources of Bastar Region. In the name of annihilating Maoist from the region a war has been waged on the most underprivileged sections of population. Popular leaders of Salwa Judum are resurfacing, leading groups like the Bastar Vikas Sangharsh Samiti, the Mahila Ekta Manch, the Samajik Ekta Manch (SEM), the Nagrik Ekta Manch and the Sarva Dharm Samuday Manch etc. Another phase of terror and human onslaught has been started by this Hindutwavadi Neoliberal Fascist State in the heartland of Central India.

JNU Forum against War on People condemns this grim massacre of human life and corporate loot of natural resources in strongest possible way and we express our solidarity with the Adivasis and Dalits of Chhattisgarh who are fighting for their dignity, their lives, livelihood and land. The war on people of Bastar is not only confined to the particular territory and has spread all over the country. Whenever and wherever, in this subcontinent, cultural activists, political and social activists, intellectuals, students raise their voice against the atrocities perpetrated in the regions of most deprived, government tries to suppress that by either killing them or putting them into jail. But voice of resistance cannot be stopped by brutal state machineries, movement against such hooliganism and violence has only become stronger every time it was attacked. The spirit of fighting back against the cruelest mode of state intervention of the Adivasis and Dalits in Bastar would inspire us to come together to forge a greater unity and to resist the rise of Brahmanical neoliberalist facist tendency in this country. Let’s join the resistance and struggle of the most oppressed section of the population for their right to land, livelihood and dignity and against corporate land grab.

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