Posts Tagged ‘Bastar
The New Indian Express
DANTEWADA(CHHATTISGARH): The authorities call it Operation Green Hunt, going by the conventional wisdom that the Maoists being chased — in Chattisgarh in this case — fight from thick jungles. But many of the victims appear to have nothing to do with the insurgency.
Witness accounts, in one instance among others, show that security forces killed seven people in Goompad village of Konta Block in Dantewada district in the concerted action that began six weeks ago. Two more people were killed from the neighbouring Bandaarpar village the same day.
In Goompad, Madvi Yankaiya (age 50) was hacked to death with an axe, his brother Madvi Joga said. Madvi Bajaar (50), his wife Madvi Subhi
(45), their daughters Madvi Kanama (20) and Madvi Mooti, (8) were killed, as their home was closest to the approaching forces. Also killed were their neighbours, Soyam Subaiya (20) and Soyam Subhi (18). They had been married only for a year.
The Adivasis of Bastar have little or no use for the Roman calendar; so it is hard to calculate the date of the attack, or the exact age of the victims. But surviving witnesses put it around the first week of October — which was the time that Green Hunt commenced. The Dantewada SP said an encounter took place at Goompad on October 1. They produced no bodies of alleged Naxalites at the police station. It was claimed that the villagers carried away the bodies of the dead.
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Chhattisgarh-based doctor BINAYAK SEN was arrested in May 2007 for his alleged links with Naxalites. Following a public campaign for his release, he was granted bail by the Supreme Court in May 2009. In this interview with VINAY SITAPATI, he speaks on the beheading of an abducted police inspector by Naxalites.
Inspector Francis Induwar was kidnapped and beheaded by Naxalites in Jharkhand recently. Whatever your ideology, is this not cold-blooded murder?
I condemn the beheading. It is absolutely unacceptable. There is no way I can approve of the killing. There are some questions about who has carried it out. If the CPI (Maoist) has carried it out, I condemn their action. Having said this, it is important to remember that the violence of resistance is a consequence, not a cause. We have to see it in the background of state violence.
But Induwar was in a market when he was captured and then later murdered. How can this be consequential violence?
I have already said that I condemn this action. It is murder and has no justification. But the general violence is a consequence of the state violence — both structural and direct. The vast majority of the poor people are kept in poverty because of the state. Today, the state violence and the violence of resistance are locked into a tragic cycle. This cycle needs to be broken. Both forms of violence need to be brought to a halt. We need to halt military engagement and start talking.
Naxalites have never executed a kidnapped police officer before. This seems to be much worse than the normal “tragic cycle” of violence and counter-violence you refer to. Has Naxalite violence reached a new level?
I hope this is an aberration. I would like to believe that this is an aberration. But I also don’t think this kind of brutality is new for either side. I think similar incidents have occurred before.Campaign for Peace and Justice in Chhattisgarh
Dear Mr. Singh,
As an elected representative sworn to uphold the Constitution, we would like to ask you why you support the illegal burning of houses and property, displacement of villagers as well as the killing and rapes that have been carried out by the Salwa Judum and security forces in Dantewada district, Bastar. Now that it has been clearly established by the NHRC and accepted by your government as shown by your own affidavits to the Supreme Court that Salwa Judum is an armed organization which has burnt houses and destroyed property, how do you continue to publicly justify and praise the Salwa Judum? Is it constitutional to support a vigilante movement which has caused such destruction? Naxalite illegality does not justify state illegality.
Since October 2008 we have been waiting for your government to fulfill its promise to the Supreme Court that it would rehabilitate all villagers who had been affected and displaced by Salwa Judum and Naxalite violence. The SC had asked you to act on the NHRC recommendations to compensate and rehabilitate all victims of Salwa Judum and Naxalite violence, to ensure the safe return to their villages of all displaced persons, whether in camps, Andhra Pradesh or elsewhere, to remove security forces from schools and civilians buildings, to identify the large numbers of missing persons and freely register FIRs on complaints. At first you cited the excuse of the election code in the assembly elections for not giving compensation, even though this did not prevent you from promising rice at Rs. 3. Later, you used the excuse of the parliamentary elections to avoid replying to the Supreme Court and managed to get the hearings postponed after the monsoons, despite knowing that if people are unable to come home and cultivate during the summer, they will lose another year. For almost a whole year, you have tried to evade your responsibility to the affected people and to the Court. The affected people are among the poorest in the country. You talk of development but have no concern for those whom your own government has rendered destitute.
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Take Action: The lives of HIMANSHU and KOPA KUNJAM in Danger In Salwa Judum captivity at Lingagiri Village
Update : himanshu has managed to reach AP, and established contact with family and vca. he should be back safely, we hope, today.
- Police force about to reach Lingagiri to save the two from Salwa Judum captivity
- Appeal to Maoists to release the two Panchayat Secretary and Dy Sarpanch at the earliest.
6th June, 2009
There is some very disturbing news from Dantewada.
On the 2nd of June at about 10 pm I received a message from Himanshu of Van Chetna Ashram, Dantewada in Chhattisgarh that said “a Panchayat Secretary of a newly rehabilitated village had been kidnapped by Maoists an hour ago in front of a VCA volunteer”.
Then came a second extremely worrying message on the 5th of June from Himanshu “Trapped in Lingiri village. Kopa and me will be either jailed or or killed by Salwa judum if both those abducetd are not released. Rehabiliated villagers too in panic. Whole rehabilitation process in Danger, May revert. Himanshu”
Himanshu’s phone is not available since this last SMS.
I have tried to piece the story together by talking to Rajendra Sail Sahab and Sudha Bharadwaj. This is what has happened.
On the 2nd of June evening Kopa Kunjam the rehabilitation coordinator of the VCA was returning from Basoguda camp on his motorbike. He had as pillion Nagesh Jhari, Panchayat Secretary of Dharmapur village who had with him Rs 40,000 cash collected from the sale of rice of the cooperative. The Deputy Sarpanch Punem Honga also of Dharmapur village was riding pillion too. They were both abducted by the Maoists in front of Kopa and who was allowed to go free.
Himanshu then lodged a report with the local police station on the 3rd June 6, 2009. He told his family and colleagues and also called Rajendra Sail that he was proceeding to Lingagiri. Perhaps the abduction happened around Lingagiri. Then came this sms on the 5th that Salwa Judum had made them captive and that their life was in danger.
We learnt that the Panchayat Secretary and the Deputy Sarpanch have both been members of the Salwa Judum.
There is no doubt that the act of abduction needs to be condemned and also we should lose no time to appeal to the Maoists that they must release the two at the earliest. However, it is completely ridiculous for the Salwa Judum members to hold Himanshu and Kopa responsible for the actions of maoists who are outlawed people. Several people since yesterday have been calling the District Collector and SP that they should send forces to Lingagiri and rescue Himanshu and Kopa from the clutches of the Salwa Judum, the response has been that we are doing. But nothing happened.
LATEST NEWS: 10 am
We have just learnt that Sh. Sumit Chakravorty called the Governor of Chhattisgarh today morning and read Himanshu’s message to him and also told him to urgently send police to Lingagiri so that Himanshu and Kopa could be saved. The Governor assured that he would try helping although he was out of the State. Sumit Da was a member of the national team that visited Dantewada from 29th May to 1st June and investigated the Government’s illegal act of demolition of Van Chetna Ashram building in Kanwalnar. They had also met the Governor then and also met the SP and the Collector.
At around 10a m I just called up DG police Mr. Vishwaranjan, who told me that they had send two companies of police forces to Lingagiri. He also told me that although this area was pretty close to Dantewada but since it was controlled by Maoists the police would take some to reach. He was confident that some news would be available in an hour.
Just learnt that Sumit Da also spoke to the SP who told him that they were/had sending teams and that the DG police himself was monitoring this release.
We will keep you updated.
Please keep in touch with Mr. Rajendra Sail PUCL Chhattisgarh for latest developments. Phone number: 09826804519.
Please send urgent messages to the Chief Minister Dr. Raman Singh and the State Home Minster Mr. Nanki.
I am also drafting an Appeal for the Maoists to release the Dy. Sarpanch and Panchayat Secretary. Since we donot know who they are. That is why it is important to post it on every website incase some do access mails. Shall be sending that shortly.
(PUCL, National Secretary)
1. SP Bijapur: Ankit Garg 09425277770
2. DGP Viswaranjan of Chattisgarh: 0771- 4240077 (office phone), 094252 07025 email@example.com
3. District Collector, Bijapur (R. Prashanna?) 09406202722 (Email? firstname.lastname@example.org?)
4. Police Station, Basaguda, 07853-200344
5. Chief Secretary Joy Ommen at 098266 22633, office phone: 0771-2221207, fax: 0771-2221206, Residence phone: 0771-2521007, email: email@example.com
6. Home secretary RP Jain (home ph: 0771-2883327)
7. Sh. B.K.S Ray, Additional Chief Secretary (Home, Civil Aviation & Transport Commissioner) firstname.lastname@example.org,
8.Sh.Vivek Dhand, Additional Chief Secraty (Secretary to CM), E-mail : email@example.com
0771-2221308 (Off.), 0771-2242466 (Res.)
9.Sh. M.K. Raut, Secretary (Tribal, S.C.& S.T. Development)
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org, 0771-2234110 (Off.), 0771-2331067 (Res.)
10. Governor, H.E. Shri E.S.L. Narsimhan, E-mail: email@example.com, Phone Nos.
+ 91 – 771 – 2331101, + 91 – 771 – 2331106, + 91 – 771 – 2331104
11. Sh.B.L.Thakur, Coordinator, Rehabilitation, Development & Monitoring of Naxalite Area, Bastar Secy., D/o Mining firstname.lastname@example.org +91-771-408 0522, +91-771- 233 1466
12. Rahul Sharma, SP Dantewada: Office: 07856-252224, Residence: 07856-252225
Noted human rights activist Dr Binayak Sen has said most of the land in Chhattisgarh was acquired at gun-point for big industrial houses. In the packed confines of the historic Students’ Hall in College Square, Sen, released recently on bail from the Raipur Central Jail after two years, made his first public appearance at a seminar on public health on Saturday.
When asked about his acting as a mediator if the Chhattisgarh government and Maoists come to the talking table, he said, “I am willing to promote peace and I want a political solution to the conflict,” Sen said.
Tehelka Cover Story “Binayak & The Tragedy Beyond”
Far from the national gaze, the establishment practises a dangerous malevolence when confronted with its anti-people policies, reports SHOMA CHAUDHURY from Raipur and Dantewada. Photographs by SHAILENDRA PANDEY
|Old threshold 2.30pm and Binayak Sen finally closes the door of his home to the stream of visitors who have come to see him after his release|
ONE YEAR ago, before the campaign on his behalf had gained m o m e n t u m , TEHELKA did a cover story on Binayak Sen — doctor and human rights activist, jailed on false charges under the draconian Chhattisgarh (People’s) Public Security Act (See TEHELKA: No Country for Good Men). On May 25, when Supreme Court judges Markandeya Katju and Deepak Verma took just sixty seconds to undo an injustice that had been wilfully perpetuated by the State for two long years, it should have been an occasion for another cover story, more celebratory, documenting among other things, Binayak’s wife, Ilina’s Herculean legal struggle for his release. But Binayak and Ilina’s story is merely symbolic of a much bigger, on-going and faceless struggle. And so, even as the human rights community exploded in joy with the May 25 victory, 400 kilometers from Raipur, another big battlefront was being opened.
It is two days after 59-year-old Binayak Sen got to go home. May 28, scalding, red dust everywhere, a hot loo blowing. A man in a white lungi and kurta sits under a leafy tree, listening to ten Gond tribals tell their story of how two nights earlier their village was looted. Every ration burnt. Every goat taken, every hen kidnapped. Not even a little chick left behind. The tribals have trekked from faraway Kamanar village in the hope that this man in white will help them access the ear of the State. It is a difficult proposition because it is the State that has looted the village: How do you lodge an FIR with the police when it is the police that have stolen your chickens?
by Latha Jishnu (in New Delhi)
Business Standard, May 23, 2009
While celebrating our democracy and its biggest rituals we also need to think about the kind of society we are building.
When Jacob Zuma was elected President of South Africa last month, leading lights of the Western press were overwhelmed. Not by the veteran African National Congress leader’s clever politics, his extraordinary negotiating skills or his undeniable popularity with the poor Whites of the racially divided nation but by his Zulu customs! Zuma is an unapologetic Zulu traditionalist and his polygamy and his occasional partiality for leopard pelt had reporters for Western media organisations riveted. Along with detailed speculation on which of his two wives apart from a fiancée would occupy the Cape-Dutch style presidential palace in Pretoria as first lady, the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, among others, were giving readers colourful reports of the exuberant Mr Zuma’s personal life, complete with pictures of the Zulu leader dancing at his wedding in traditional costume.
Call it the Zuma wives fixation. It is an egregious example of the media’s ability to ignore serious issues in its obsession with trivial but clearly saleable stories that distort the reality. But why blame the western media alone? It’s true of our media, too, which has its idea fixes, its entrenched biases and likes to black out the less pretty picture. It’s so much nicer to reinforce a sense of national wellbeing—real or imagined—than to highlight unpleasant issues that show up the dark heart of the nation.
David Barsamian Interviews Satya Sivaraman
Satya Sivaraman is an independent journalist, filmmaker and human rights activist based in New Delhi. He is the author of “Asia Sees America and other Rants.”
In your article “The Mistrial of Dr. Binayak Sen” you write, “Anyone trying to figure out, after the recent Mumbai attacks, whether India will ever win its war on terrorism should take a close look at a court case currently underway in the central Indian province of Chhattisgarh.” Who is Binayak Sen?
Dr. Binayak Sen is a medical doctor who has been working in the province of Chhattisgarh. He’s a graduate of the prestigious Christian Medical College in Vellore, in south India. When he was employed at the one of the top universities in Delhi, he decided to go to this province where there was a very interesting independent trade union movement called the Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha, where the union leaders, apart from the usual union kind of activities and activism, wanted to also address issues of health, particularly for workers, because the state of public health and public health infrastructure is so poor in many parts of India.
So he went there and he helped set up the Shaheed (Martyrs) Hospital, which became the first hospital run by a trade union in this country. It was low-cost health care for the first time affordable to a lot of people, not just workers but the whole area around the hospital. Shankar Guha Niyogi, the leader of the trade union movement was the visionary behind this whole idea of integrating health care into trade union activities. Health care as in direct intervention in health care; not just demanding that the government give them medical facilities but also actually doing somebody about it hands on. Niyogi was assassinated in 1991 by goons allegedly hired by the owners of the Simplex Group of companies.
Javed Iqbal recently wrote 2 stories with photos on binayaksen.net. The First one is about the Anatomy of an encounter in South Bastar and second one is about an Attack On The Village Of Badepalli by the Security Forces. He was roughed up by the police during the demolition of VCA for exposing police brutality, police encounters, and Salwa Judum through these stories. Continue reading his Open Letter to Police - Editors
On the 17th of May, 2009, during the demolition of the Vanvasi Chetna Ashram, I was taking pictures and the instant the archway of the Ashram’s gate was broken by the bulldozer, I was picked up by a policeman, had my camera confiscated, then beaten repeatedly by some security forces and some members of the STF.
I was then locked up in a police van.
Some thirty minutes later, two policemen entered the police van, that now had about three other people, and I was taken out into the open. Now I was beaten again by three-four policemen by lathis, specifically from the STF who started to abuse me, by saying: ‘Saala madharchod, tum humare khilaf likhta hai?’ (You mother****er, you write against the police?)
‘Tu Badepalli gaya tha na, bhonsdike?’ (You had gone to Badepalli, hadn’t you, ********?)
Eventually, I was let back into the van and kept there for another few hours in the summer heat. I was repeatedly abused by passing policemen yet also treated kindly by a few sympathetic policemen from the CGP (Chattisgarh State Police). I was then taken to the police station and released after a medical check-up under police supervision that didn’t even bother to check for any bruises.
Now, to the police.
All you have done is helped motivate me, and offered me more clarity than before. I shall not pack my bags and leave, and even if I do, I shall be back. Your lathi-wielding policemen actually ‘complimented’ me, mentioning the stories that I’ve done as they beat me, and I was happy that someone was reading my work. In fact, the mention of Badepalli by the policeman who beat me, where 19 homes were burnt on the 26th of April, 2009, is really the first compliment I’ve gotten for that story. But before there are anymore incidents as such, when your ‘boys’ think it’s necessary to beat up journalists who delve for the truth and listen to the whispers of a suffering people, I believe the time has come for a little clarity between us, and you must know what I am doing here.
You, are, my police.
I do not pay my taxes for you to kill villagers and burn villages without the proper conduct of law. I do not accept that you earn the right to live in the grey world, believing you have the right to do as you wish, as long as it is for the greater good. Yet what is this greater good? This funny little thing called Law & Order. There is no such thing as the greater good and I don’t give you the right to be the defenders of denial, of the status quo that ensures that people remain ignorant, unaware, apathetic, and live a meaningless insecure egocentric life in the pursuit of wealth, self-indulgence, power with the daily dosage of IPL matches, saas-bahu shows and parties, when more than half the country starves its own soul for a single meal.
I believe in shattering the mirrors of the status quo with a hammer and you wish to protect it. I believe people have the right to dissent, to protest and to ensure that the state does not get away with the power, that we, the citizens, have bequeathed upon it. And this protest, this dissent has every right to exist in a democracy. The stone that is hurled at the police ordered in to curb an angry mob who’ve been betrayed by an incompetent or corrupt administration, is democracy.
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Villagers who fled the Salwa Judum-Maoist conflict return home to familiar grounds
By Bela Bhatia
Tehelka Daily stories
Imagine a situation where you had to flee from your home and everything that was familiar in a matter of a few minutes.
Such has been the fate of many thousand adivasis of Bijapur and Dantewada districts of south Bastar in Chhattisgarh since the last four years. Mid-2005 saw the beginning of local discontent against Naxalite action in a few villages of west Bijapur which soon took the form of a counter-insurgency operation that had unrestrained backing of the authorities. Christened Salwa Judum, the movement started out with the aim of bringing peace but has instead left behind a trail of death and displacement in the area. At least 644 villages (as per official records) are affected and over a lakh people displaced.
This year the Mahua season, the beginning of the Adivasi new year, has brought with it forgotten hope. People from Bijapur district, Basaguda and Lingagiri, who were forced to flee their homes in 2006, following an attack by Salwa Judum (in Lingagiri) and the Maoists (in Basaguda), have returned. For three years, the insignificant -looking bridge over Talpedu river was deemed uncrossable and was a dividing line between their villages and the adjoining areas; Maoist territory, and the other side as being under Government and Salwa Judum control, the former represented by the police and CRPF camps and the latter by the settlement, ironically called ”rahat shivir‘ (relief camp). On 28 March, this bridge was crossed and the dividing line erased.