Skip to main content

Atmosphere of fear among rural folk as Assam Rifles 'occupies' Manipur Naga villages

Protest in Ukhrul town
By Our Representative 
A civil rights group, Forum Against Corporatization And Militarization (FACAM), taking strong exception to the Assam Rifles of the Indian Armed Forces "moving in and capturing nine Naga villages of Ukhrul district of Manipur", has said the action is not backed by the Indian state giving "any explanation."
Calling it 'intrusion and occupation", FACAM said in a media communique, apparently, this has been done "without the consent of the Naga village councils and the Tangkhul indigenous people, to whom the land belongs."
It alleged, "The Indian state has been mocking its own Constitution by constantly violating Article 371 (A) of the Constitution through such intrusions, land grab, and atrocities of the past and the present and granting them impunity under draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA)."
Recalling a 2021 incident, it added, "One such recent example of genocidal military action is massacres in Mon and Oting where 14 people, mostly innocent mine workers, were massacred by Para SF of the Indian Armed Forces and are still not prosecuted due to the impunity of AFSPA."
Stating that the Naga Civil Society and the Global Naga Forum have reported about the situation through statements and media reports that the Armed Forces are occupying the public spaces such as schools, playgrounds, community centers etc, and are turning them into military camps, FACAM noted, "Private properties are taken over and constructions are carried on them to build military camps."
Based in Delhi, FACAM added, "A widespread atmosphere of fear among women, children and old due to such presence of Armed Forces, having past record of brutal atrocities against the very people, and building check-posts across the area, is affecting the peace of the people."
Protesting against the move, on 15 September 2022, claimed FACAM, "Over 5,000 people took to the streets of Ukhrul town to mount pressure on the Central and State governments for immediate withdrawal of the security forces from nine Tangkhul villages where the troops have set up military camps/bases without the consent of the villagers."
Noting that "similarly, the people of Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand have protested against paramilitary camps, with 12 major sit in protests in Bastar, continuing for months", it said, "The Indian state has moved with the idea to establish a Joint Command Centre in Bhadradri Kothagudem district on Telangana-Chhattisgarh border in the name of fighting the Maoists."
According to FACAM, "The said command centre is to house the District Reserve Guard (DRG) formed by inducting the infamous SPOs of the Salwa Judum, Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) of Chhattisgarh, Greyhounds of Telangana etc."
There is parallel between camps being built in forested Central Indian regions and the ones being built in Ukhrul, Manipur
Also, it said, the Union Home Ministry has sent "a contingent of 100 National Security Guards (Elite Force) comprising of more than 50 percent personnel of the Indian Armed Forces on trial basis to same district and are believed to function from this very joint command centre."
FACAM further said, "The camps, in these forested regions of Central India, are being built as forward operational bases under the Indian state’s Operation Samadhan-Prahar to suppress all forms of struggle against corporate loot of resources."
"Similarly", it added, "camps are being built Manipur, Kashmir, Nagaland etc., to suppress the struggle of nationalities for right to self determination and to loot their natural resources in the interest of big corporates."
Insisting that there is "parallel between the camps being built in forested Central Indian regions and the ones being built in Ukhrul, Manipur", FACAM said, "We see that the camps being established in schools and community centres in Ukhrul are similar with those being established in schools of Giridih district of Jharkhand."
"The similarity behind the modus operandi of the Armed Forces and paramilitary forces in occupying land and building multiple paramilitary camps over a given area reflects a similar military psyche behind these activities", it added.
Underlining that Operation Samadhan-Prahar is the embodiment of this military psyche and it needs to be resisted countrywide to stop this rampant militarization, FACAM demanded withdrawal of the Assam Rifles from the nine Naga villages, disbanding of the Joint Command Centre to be built in Bhadradri Kothagudem district, stop engaging elite special forces and Operation Samadhan-Prahar, and repeal of AFSPA.



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.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

How lead petitioner was rendered homeless when GM mustard matter came up in SC

By Rosamma Thomas*  On January 5, 2023, the Supreme Court stayed a December 20, 2022 direction of the Uttarakhand High Court to the Indian Railways and the district administration of Haldwani to use paramilitary forces to evict thousands of poor families occupying land that belonged to the railways.  Justice AS Oka remarked that it was not right to order the bringing in of paramilitary forces. The SC held that even those who had no rights, but were living there for years, needed to be rehabilitated. On December 21, 2022, just as she was getting ready to celebrate Christmas, researcher Aruna Rodrigues was abruptly evicted from her home in Mhow Cantonment, Madhya Pradesh – no eviction notice was served, and nearly 30 Indian Army soldiers bearing arms were part of the eviction process. What is noteworthy in this case is that the records establishing possession of the house date back to 1892 – the title deed with the name of Dr VP Cardoza, Rodrigues’ great grandfather, is dated November 14

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".

Tax buoyancy claims when less than 4% Indian dollar millionaires pay income tax

By Prasanna Mohanty  In FY18, the last year for which disaggregated income tax data is available, only 29,002 ITRs declared income above Rs 5 crore, while Credit Suisse said India had 7.25 lakh dollar millionaires (the wealth equivalent of Rs 8 crore and above) that year. Often enough, the Centre claims that demonetization in 2016 raised tax collections, improved tax efficiency, and expanded the tax base. Now RBI Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) member Ashima Goyal has also joined their ranks, attributing the “claims” of rising tax collections in the current fiscal year to “tax buoyancy” brought by the demonetisation . Do such claims have any basis in official records? The answer is unequivocal. The budget documents show the tax-to-GDP ratio (direct plus indirect tax) increased from 10.6% in FY16 (pre-demonetization) to 11.2% in FY17, remained there in FY18 (demonetization and GST fiscals), and then fell to 9.9% in FY20. In FY22, it improved to 10.8% and is estimated to drop to 10.7% in

Gandhian unease at Mahadev Desai book launch: Sabarmati Ashram may lose free space

By Rajiv Shah  A simmering apprehension has gripped the Gandhians who continue to be trustees of the Sabarmati Ashram: the “limited freedom” to express one’s views under the Modi dispensation still available at the place which Mahatma Gandhi made his home from 1917 to 1930 may soon be taken away. Also known as Harijan Ashram, a meeting held for introducing yet-to-be-released book, “Mahadev Desai: Mahatma Gandhi's Frontline Reporter”, saw speaker and after speaker point towards “narrowing space” in Gujarat for Gandhians (as also others) to express themselves. Penned by veteran journalist Nachiketa Desai, grandson of Mahadev Desai, while the book was planned to be released on January 1 and the meeting saw several prominent personalities, including actor-director Nandita Das, her scholar-mother Varsha Das, British House of Lords member Bhikhu Parekh, among others, speak glowingly about the effort put in for bringing out the book, exchanges between speakers suggested it should be rele

Why no information with Assam state agency about female rhino poaching for a year?

By Nava Thakuria   According to official claims, incidents of poaching related to rhinoceros in various forest reserves of Assam in northeast India have decreased drastically. Brutal laws against the poachers, strengthening of ground staff inside the protected forest areas and increasing public awareness in the fringe localities of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries across the State are the reasons cited for positively impacting the mission to save the one-horned rhinos. Officials records suggest, only two rhinos were poached in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve since 1 January 2021 till date. The last incident took place probably in the last week of December 2021, as a decomposed carcass of a fully-grown (around 30 years old) female rhino was recovered inside the world-famous forest reserve next month. As the precious horn was missing, for which the gigantic animal was apparently hunted down, it could not be a natural death. Ironically, however, it was not confirmed when

Civil rights leaders allege corporate loot of resources, suppression of democratic rights

By Our Representative  Civil rights activists have alleged, quoting top intelligence officers as also multiple international forensic reports, that recent developments with regard to the Bhima Koregaon and the Citizenship Amendment Act-National Register of Citizens (CAA-NRC) cases suggest, there was "no connection between the Elgaar Parishad event and the Bhima Koregaon violence." Activists of the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) told a media event at the HKS Surjeet Bhawan, New Delhi, that, despite this, several political prisoners continue to be behind bars on being accused under the anti-terror the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Addressed by family members of the political prisoners, academics, as well as social activists, it was highlighted how cases were sought to be fabricated against progressive individuals, democratic activists and intellectuals, who spoke out against "corporate loot of Indian resources, suppression of basic democratic

Kerala natural rubber producers 'squeezed', attend to their plight: Govt of India told

By Rosamma Thomas   Babu Joseph, general secretary of the National Federation of Rubber Producers Societies (NFRPS) at a recent discussion at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, explained that it is high time the Union government paid greater heed to the troubles plaguing the rubber production sector in India – rubber is a strategic product, important for the military establishment and for industry, since natural rubber is still used in the manufacture of tyres for large vehicles and aeroplanes. Synthetic rubber is now quite widespread, but styrene, which is used in making synthetic rubber and plastics, and also butadiene, another major constituent of synthetic rubber, are both hazardous. Prolonged exposure to these even in recycled rubber can cause neurological damage. Kerala produces the bulk of India’s natural rubber. In 2019-20, Kerala’s share in the national production of rubber was over 74%. Over 20% of the gross cropped area in the state is under rubber cultivation, with total

Bangladesh 'rights violations': US softens stance, fears increased clout of China, India

By Tilottama Rani Charulata*  In December 2021, in addition to the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the United States imposed sanctions on seven former and current officers of the force, alleging serious human rights violations. Benazir Ahmed and former RAB-7 commander Miftah Uddin Ahmed were banned from entering the US. RAB as an institution was also canceled the support it was getting from the US and its allies. At the same time, those under the ban have been notified of confiscation of assets held abroad. The anti-crime and anti-terrorism unit of the Bangladesh Police, RAB is the elite force consisting of members of the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Police, Bangladesh Navy, Bangladesh Air Force, Border Guard Bangladesh, Bangladesh Civil Service and Bangladesh Ansar, and has been criticized by rights groups for its use of extrajudicial killings and is accused of forced disappearances. The government of Bangladesh has been insisting about lifting the ban on RAB, but the US had till recen