Skip to main content

PUCL warns against using Chhattisgarh tragedy for further militarisation of Bastar

By Our Representative 

India's well-known human rights organisation, the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), while condemning the "heavy loss of lives in the encounter between Maoists and security forces in Chhattisgarh", has appealed to all political parties to "maintain calm", insisting, it is time to "bring an end to all hostilities."
A statement signed by PUCL president Ravi Kiran Jain and general secretary Dr V Suresh, the top rights body, founded by Jayaprakash Narayan and VM Tarkunde, said it is not just the loss of life of 22 security personnel in the encounter on April 3 in forests near Jonaguda village in Sukma along the road connecting Bijapur-Sukma districts that is cause of concern, but also that "injured security people seeking refuge in houses were ambushed and stabbed to death."
According to PUCL, "Such use of violence against injured persons – irrespective of whether they are security persons or others – is unacceptable", adding, "This goes against the principles of humanitarian law, which is enshrined in national and international law, governing the basic rights of combatants in any conflict situation."
PUCL said, acting on intelligence to input that Naxalite leader Hidma was present in forests within the jurisdiction of Tarrem PS, a massive team of over 2,000 police and paramilitary troops from five different camps and stations in the districts of Sukma and Bijapur had been dispatched for searching operations in the area.
This team was returning on April 3, when it was ambushed by Maoists, and a three hour long pitched gun battle ensued, in which at least 22 security personnel and 12 Maoists, including a woman, were killed, 32 soldiers were injured and one went missing.
Rejecting the use of violence for "furthering political and strategic ends", PUCL, however, said, "The Maoist violence in Central India needs to be addressed through political means, and not military operations."
Asking political parties , State and Central governments and the security forces, as also Maoists, to "immediately cease military operations", it insisted, it is necessary to end "all other hostilities in order to initiate a process of dialogue to resolve all conflict issues."
According to PUCL, the encounter not only comes at a time of "escalating violence in Bastar due to the continuing insurgency and counter-insurgency operations", there is also an "extensive militarization of the area resulting in the daily harassment of ordinary citizens by paramilitary forces due to the setting up of camps at short distances."
Poi bynting out that this has caused "alienation of local tribals, who are caught in the middle of the conflict between the security forces and the Maoists", PUCL said, as a result, "In the past few months, there has been an alarming rise in the number of civilians killed."
Asserting that at the heart of the conflict that has engulfed the tribal areas of Bastar "are issues about the nature of development, expansion of industries and mines, all of which threaten to displace and dispossess millions of Adivasis", PUCL warned, "Using the current tragedy for further militarization in Bastar, which is already amongst the most militarized areas in the world, is a surefire recipe for disaster."
It said, "Peace can come not through military camps and military style operations. It can come only when both the state and its forces and the Maoists acknowledge the primacy of Adivasis communities and initiate a genuine dialogue between them and with the local populations about the nature and direction of state-sponsored development in the area."

Comments

TRENDING

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Don't agree on domestic subsidies, ensure food security at WTO meet: Farmer leaders

Counterview Desk  The Indian Coordination Committee of Farmers Movements (ICCFM), a top network of farmers’ organizations in India, in a letter to Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has asked him to “safeguard food security and sovereignty, even as ensuring peasants' rights" at the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO MC 13), to take place from 26 to 29 February 2024 in Abu Dhabi.

Sharp 61-85% fall in Tech startup funding in India's top 'business-friendly' States

By Rajiv Shah Funding in Tech startups in top business-friendly Indian states has witnessed a major fall, a data intelligence platform for private market research has said in a series of reports it has released this month. Analysing Tech startup data of Telangana, Maharashtra, Delhi NCR, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala, Tracxn Technologies Ltd , the Bengaluru-based research firm, finds that except for Kerala, funding witnessed a fall of anywhere between 61% and 85%.

Students, lawyers, professors detained in Delhi for demonstrating in support of farmers

By Our Representative  About 25 protestors, belonging to the civil rights network, Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of over 40 organisations, were detained at Jantar Mantar for holding a demonstration in support of the farmers' stir on Friday. Those detained included students, lawyers and professors, including Prof Nandita Narain and Prof N Sachin. 

Maize, bajra, jute, banana cultivation banned off West Bengal border: Plea to NHRC

Counterview Desk  West Bengal-based human rights defender Kirity Roy, who is secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Manch, and is national convenor of the Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity, in a representation to the chairman, National Human Rights Commission, second within few days, has bought to light one more case of trespassing and destruction of a fertile banana plantation by BSF personnel along the Indo-Bangladesh border, stating, despite a written complaint to the police has taken "no initiative".

Solar energy funding dips 9% in 2023; 2024 'kicks off' with US$1 billion investment

By Lakshmitha Raj*  Solar energy tech companies have already secured slightly over US$1 billion in funding in 2024 (till Feb 7, 2024) after total funding into Solar Energy companies in India fell 9% to US$1.55B in 2023 from US$1.7B in 2022. A total of 39 $100M+ rounds have been closed till date, with Delhi leading the city-wise funding, followed by Gurugram and Mumbai.

India second best place to invest, next to UAE, yet there is 'lacks support' for IT services

By Sreevas Sahasranamam, Aileen Ionescu-Somers*  The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the best place in the world to start a new business, according to the latest annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) survey. The Arab nation is number one for the third year in a row thanks to a big push by the government into cutting-edge technology in its efforts to diversify away from oil.

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".

Mahanadi delta: Aggressive construction in flood plains, reduced fish stock, pollution

By Sudhansu R Das  Frequent natural calamities, unemployment, low farmers’ income, increase in crime rate and lack of quality human resources to strike a balance between growth and environment etc. continue to haunt the state. The state should delve into the root causes of poverty, unemployment and natural calamities.