Skip to main content

Clampdown on protesters in Bastar 'exposes' Rahul's Bharat Jodo: Civil rights group

Counterview Desk 

The civil rights group, Forum against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), New Delhi, condemning the attack on Burji anti-camp protestors, Bijapur district of the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, has said that they were opposing “the forceful establishment of paramilitary camp in Pusnar, without the consent of Gram Sabha.”
Stating that for more than one year now as many as 20 anti-camp movements have cropped up in Bastar against the forceful occupation of village land and establishment of multiple paramilitary camps, FACAM said, “The very reason that these movements are continuing for one year and more, facing brutal state repression including killings in a state run by Congress Party, exposes the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ of Rahul Gandhi…”

Text:

On the intervening night of 15-16 December 2022, the soldiers of District Reserve Guards (DRG) came to the Burji Anti Camp Protest site in Bijapur District of Bastar, Chhattisgarh and started removing tents of protestors. According to the protesting villagers, when they resisted such forceful removal of tents, they were attacked with lathis (batons) as a result of which, many protestors including women and children sustained injuries.
Burji Anti-Camp movement, opposing the forceful establishment of paramilitary camp in Pusnar, without the consent of Gram Sabha and continuing for more than one year now, is one of more than 20 anti-camp movements, many of them completing one year or more in Bastar, against the forceful occupation of village land and establishment of multiple paramilitary camps.
These camps are being built, without the consent of Gram Sabhas (village council) by violating provisions of Panchayat Extension of Schedule Areas Act, as 'Forward Operational Bases’ under the aegis of Operation Samadhan-Prahar, in a bid to build carpet security around mining rich belt of Central India.
It is also pertinent to mention that auxiliary forces like DRG, Bastariya Fighters etc., are being formed under this notorious operation, comprising of Adivasis, mostly the forced ‘surrendered naxalites’ and erstwhile Special Police Officers of state backed genocidal vigilante militia named Salwa Judum, despite the Supreme Court disbanding it and prohibiting deployment of ‘Surrendered Naxalites and Civilians’ in anti-naxal operations.
The news of this incident was covered in few media portals, only after video recordings of the incident was circulated by the protesting villagers after 5 days and it clearly depicts the widespread media blackout of struggles against corporatization and militarization being waged by the most oppressed and exploited section of our peoples and subsequent state repression on these very movements in areas like Bastar.
This media blackout is an extension of widespread suppression of information that started with attack on ground level journalists, spearheaded under the leadership of SRP Kalluri (then IG Bastar Range) in these regions during Operation Green-Hunt.
Despite struggles against camps and illegal minings in in Chhattisgarh, protesters' demands are not even discussed by government
Said widespread suppression of information is an attempt at creating a ‘war without witnesses’ by controlling public perception, which is another facet of Samadhan-Prahar. Crores of rupees are being spent in the name of “anti-Naxal propaganda” to either buy off unethical ‘journalists’ or to prop up some, that favor the state narrative on these subject matter.
Last, but not the least, it is very concerning that despite more than a year long continuing struggles against camps in Burji, Bechaghat, Bechapal as well as illegal minings in Raoghat, proposed mining in Amdai Ghati hills etc., in Chhattisgarh alone; the demands of the movements are not even discussed let alone be accepted by government.
What is even more concerning is that opposition parties are also not paying much heed to these movements. The very reason that these movements are continuing for one year and more, facing brutal state repression including killings in a state run by Congress Party, exposes the ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ of Rahul Gandhi and the Congress Party.
These very movements, while posing a substantial resistance against Brahmanical Hindutva fascist BJP government, also raise serious questions on Congress Party regarding what Idea of India it is trying to portray as an alternative to BJP-RSS.
Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization condemns in harshest tone, the attack on the protestors at Burji Anti-Camp movement in Bijapur and the attempt to dismantle the democratic protest site of the struggling masses and puts forth following demands:
  1. Withdraw Paramilitary Camp in Pusnar, Bijapur and many such paramilitary camps being protested against by the villagers.
  2. Stop building paramilitary camps in Bastar and elsewhere to loot people’s resources.
  3. Register FIR against the responsible DRG personnel and take strict action against them.
  4. Implement Panchayat Extension of Schedule Areas Act.
  5. Stop Operation Samadhan-Prahar.

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. 

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".

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.

Living standards in 'model' Gujarat worse than major states: Govt of India document

By Rajiv Shah  Amidst raging controversy over whether the latest Government of India’s “Household Consumption Expenditure Survey 2022-23 Fact Sheet: August 2022-July 2023” suggests that India’s poverty levels are actually down to 4.5 to 5%  during the decade-long Narendra Modi rule, a state-wise breakup in the 27-page document shows that “model” Gujarat’s average consumption expenditure is far below most of the so-called developed states.

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.

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".

Not livable in summer, Chitrakut PM-Awas houses 'push' tribals in moneylender trap

By Bharat Dogra*  Those who are in-charge of implementing the PM-Awas scheme of rural housing can rightly take pride in what has been achieved in Dafai hamlet (Karvi block, Chitrakut district, Uttar Pradesh). All the Kol tribal families here are extremely poor and vulnerable. In a rare achievement, almost all of them have received housing assistance under PM Awas. 

Narmada Valley's fossil evidence: Ground for 'nationalists' to argue primates' India roots?

By Saurav Sarkar*  In December 1982, a geologist digging in India’s Central Narmada Valley found something he did not expect. Arun Sonakia, who at the time worked for the Geological Survey of India, unearthed a hominid fossil skullcap from the Pleistocene era. The discovery sent shockwaves through the field of paleoanthropology and put South Asia on the map of human prehistory. Some experts concluded that the skull likely belonged to a member of a predecessor species of ours, Homo heidelbergensis , or perhaps was a hybrid of homo species, while Sonakia himself suggested “ an affinity… to Homo erectus .”

Development? This tribal hamlet in Chitrakut has no toilets, no electricity connections yet

By Bharat Dogra*  As we moved away from the starting point of the Bundelkhand Expressway and a famous pilgrimage site into a side-road, the hills of Chitrakut here appeared to be more and more isolated. Another turn, and we appeared to have reached almost a dead-end. However it is here that over 80 households of the Kol tribal community have been living for a long time.