Oct 12 2010
Raipur : Outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) has given a call for a 48 hour ‘Dandakaranya’ bandh from September 22, demanding disbanding of Bastar’s newly formed “Shanti Sangharsh Morcha”, alleging that it was a new avatar of “fascist Salwa Judum” — the anti-Naxalite campaign which was launched in June 2005.
The Maoist call for a two day bandh came after a group of tribals, who met on Gandhi Jayanti day in Bijapur district, formed ‘Dandakaranya Shanti Sangharsh Morcha” for launching a ‘non-violent’ people’s campaign to restore peace in the strife-torn Bastar region.
“Maoists will be observing a 48 hour DK bandh on September 22 and 23 to protest against the newly formed organization as it is a new avatar of Salwa Judum”, CPI (Maoist) Dandakaranya Special Zonal Committee spokesman Gudsa Usendi said in a communiqué sent to the media in Bastar.
The so-called Dandakaranya region — which the rebels term as “DK” state — forms part of forest areas of Bastar, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Orissa. Maoists claim it as their ‘Liberated zone’ while the the civil administration’s consider it as areas dominated by the rebels.
The initiative for a new peace campaign began last month when a group of people, including a few of those who were associated with the Salwa Judum, met at Karkeli village and decided to formulate strategies to take the campaign ahead for establishing peace in the area. Later, they met again at Kutroo village in Bijapur district on October 2 and resolved to work for peace without carrying any weapons by following the Gandhian path of non-violence.
Salwa Judum, which began as a small protest from Karkeli village in Bijapur district on June 2005, had turned into frenzy in South Bastar, once the cherished zone of the Maoists. The movement, which the state government described as a spontaneous peoples campaign against the Naxalites, spread far and wide and turned the entire South Bastar into a battle field. The Naxalites unleashed attacks on Salwa Judum cadres, who went on a prowl against Maoist sympathizers, and the conflict led to police and Para-military forces swarming the region.
Maoist call for two day bandh against the newly formed Dandakaranya Shanti Sangharsh Samiti is being seen as an attempt to thwart the possibility of new campaign spreading into the remote areas where the rebels have their base.