Skip to main content

Naxal-infected Bastar region being turned into laboratory of Hindu nation, as RSS seeks to "purify" it: Report

A Bastar tribal whose daughter was picked up, killed
By Our Representative
An eight-person fact-finding team under the auspices of the All-India People’s Forum (AIPF) has found an unprecedented atmosphere of mutual suspicion and insecurity among the villagers of the Naxal-infected regions of Chhattisgarh it visited – Bastar, Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur districts -- with the region fast turning into a Hindutva laboratory.
“The adivasi villagers are fearful that the police and paramilitary forces will brand them as Maoists”, a report prepared by the team says on the basis of testimonies of individual villagers, adding, “At the same time, they are also fearful that the Maoists will brand them as informers.”
“In areas where Christian minorities are present”, the report says, “RSS outfits are acting as a law unto themselves, terrorizing the minorities. They have no fear of stern action by the police because they feel they enjoy patronage of the government and the ruling party.”
Saying the region is turning into a "laboratory for Hindu nation", the report says, testimonies of Christians in Bastar district showed "systematic attempts to persecute Christian minorities; foment communal division and violence in adivasi villages; bend pro-adivasi laws to communal ends; and allow Hindutva groups to dictate to the police and administration."  
The report says, violence against the people of the region is happening in Bastar today “under cover of a war to ‘save Bastar from Maoism,’ or ‘make Bastar safe for democracy’,” adding, “The Constitution is in fact being trampled to ‘make Bastar safe for corporations’ and ‘purify Bastar for the RSS’.”
Pointing out that incidents in which Maoists unleash violence upon civilians, branding them informers and killing them are “extremely worrying”, the team in its 52-page report titled “Bastar: Where the Constitution Stands Suspended”, says, “A situation of polarization” exists in which “the State and the Maoists both put pressure on them saying they must perforce take one side or the other.”
 Suggesting that the main problem is related with failure of the government to provide basic social infrastructure, the report quotes a person living in a now disbanded anti-Maoist militant group Salwa Judum camp at Ketulnar near Kutru as saying, “My village is 40 km from here, there is no road, school or hospital in my village. The Maoists had abducted six people in my village, out of whom three were killed. The remaining three were badly beaten and then released.”
Team members of fact-finding team talking with villagers
In the camp, this person said, about 2,000 people lived, all of whom having either been brought from other villages. They worked as labourers for their livelihood. The report adds, Salwa Judum has been replaced now by organizations like Naxal Peedit Sangharsh Samiti, which lure those who suffer from Maoist violence into the camp, using them “politically”.
The report regrets, even after the Supreme Court directive against it, Salwa Judum is in operation under several names, one of them being Samajik Ekta Manch, which was dissolved “after its exposure by a recent India Today sting operation.”
“Senior police officials were caught on camera saying that this Manch was formed by the police to do ‘our work’ – to help the police by driving out ‘trouble-making elements’ like journalist Malini Subramaniam, Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group advocate Shalini Gera, and researcher and human rights activist Bela Bhatia from Bastar”, the report says.
Pointing out that the government’s policy of militarization is having disastrous effects in the region, the report states, “Above all, the space for democratic protests and the functioning of political parties and mass organizations is extremely circumscribed. Political parties like CPI and activists like Soni Sori who raise issues of human rights and civil liberties are subjected to harassment.”
Underlining that “villagers are extremely vulnerable to sexual violence by police and paramilitary personnel”, the report says, since the AIPF visit this June, “horrific case of rape and murder of the teenage girl Madkam Hidme in Gompad village has come to light.”
“The situation of elected people’s representatives is also worrisome, where the police demands that they openly become informers and facilitate fake surrenders, and they live in fear of Maoist violence”, the report says, adding, “There are people’s representatives who have been jailed and who have opposed state oppression on villagers.”
Members of the team included Madhya Pradesh MLA Dr Sunilam of Samajwadi Samagam, Kavita Krishnan of the All India Progressive Women’s Association, Amlan Bhatacharya of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (West Bengal), two advocates, well-known researcher and activist Bela Bhatia, and Dantewada-based Aam Aadmi Party leader Soni Sori.
---
Click HERE for full report

Comments

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Critics of your government should not be in jail: PUCL shoots open letter to Modi

Counterview Desk In an open letter, Ravikiran Jain, national president, and Dr V Suresh, general secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have taken strong exception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s view that raising human rights issues can ‘tarnish’ the country’s reputation, stating, those who raise human rights concerns do it “through established United Nations mechanisms such as the UN Human Rights Council, the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights.”

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

When judges behave more like priests, delivering sermons from high podium...

By Ajit Singh*  The theory of separation of power found its origins in ancient Greece but with the passage of time it became widespread in other parts of Europe. Early proponent of the theory Greek philosopher Aristotle in “Politics” argued that implementation of constitution in letter and spirit can only be possible if the three elements among whom the power has been distributed are well arranged.

Covid appropriate behaviour? Why masks can't be suitable in hot, humid climate

By Dr Amitav Banerjee* Appearances can be deceptive. So can be Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB). An anecdote illustrates this well known cliché. A man who is very particular about hygiene decides to eat out. After a rather long search, he spots a restaurant which has a spotlessly clean exterior and he walks in.

Muck being thrown in Uttarakhand rivers: Villagers face 'existential' crisis

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The Uttarakhand government must act fast to clear the path of Dhauli Ganga river about two kilometres ahead of village Neeti and about one kilometre from Ghamsali village, which is about 90 kilometer from Joshi Math town in district Chamoli. The creation of an artificial lake due to throwing of muck and mud can create a catastrophic situation like what happened on February 7, 2021-- the Rishi Ganga-Dhauli Ganga tragedy at Tapovan and Raini village in which over 200 people lost their life.

How Indore turned into water minus city after authorities 'managed' Water Plus title

Water harvester cleaning up hyacinth from an Indore river By Rahul Banerjee*  Recently, the city of Indore was declared the first Water Plus city in India under the Swachh Sarvekshan programme of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for its ostensibly exemplary waste water management. However, the reality is quite different as a detailed study of the prevailing wastewater management situation in the city shows.

UP govt 'ignoring' demand to fill up teachers' posts despite unemployment: Rights groups

Sandeep Pandey with Shikha Pal Counterview Desk  Commenting on the unique protest undertaken by Shikha Pal atop an overhead water tank for nearly four months, the Socialist Party (India), in association with several civil rights group, Yuva Shakti Sangathan, Socialist Yuvjan Sabha and Rihai Manch, have wondered why has the Yogi Adityanath government is so “insensitive” towards her demands and is looking the “other way.”

Restricting use of public places for religious purpose: Will Gehlot govt respect HC order?

By Kavita Srivastava*  The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Rajasthan, has welcomed the judgment of the Rajasthan High Court dismissing the petition by Pooja Gurnani which challenged a circular of the Rajasthan government which restrained the construction of a ‘Pooja Sthal’ in the premises of a police station.

Rehabilitation site 'offered' to 6000 displaced Khori villagers not livable: Team Saathi

By Our Representative  Second round of the Chitthi Andolan (letter movement) of the Khori village residents, whose more than 6,000 houses were demolished as they were allegedly built on forest land, has begun, with hundreds of them telling the authorities of the Municipal Corporation, Faridabad, that no one has received the promised financial assistance of meagre Rs 2,000.