The Government of Violence : A Massacre In Dandakaranya

By Kamal K.M, Countercurrents.org, 16 July, 2012

‘Dandakaranya’ is a stretch of forest in India that runs through the states of Chattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra , and Andhra Pradesh. Roughly translated in Sanskrit, the word means `Jungle of Punishment’.

When you enter the village of Kottaguda , located in Bijapur district of Chattisgarh, the first impression is one of serenity. The vestiges of the Salwa Judum pillage from a few years ago still remain as a burnt scar. The houses have stood starkly against these acts of aggression.

We couldn’t see any trace of massacre from ten days ago.

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We were a group of thirty people from different parts of India , people of different professions and academic backgrounds. There were some people in the group who had been to similar kind of fact finding report missions, like Advocate Tharakam, Prasanth Haldar, V.S Krishna, Advocate Raghunath, C Chandrasekhar, R Shiva Shankar, and Ashish Gupta. Some of them were official members of different human rights organizations under the umbrella of Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO). We – advocates, teachers, government employees, students, former trade union activists and media professionals – were united by a single objective – to unearth the truth about what had actually happened on the night of June 28 th .

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When we entered the village there was a solemn air about it. The only humans we saw there were some heavily armed paramilitary forces inside the bushes – they might have been from CoBRA force or CRPF.

The men in arms averted our gaze. They couldn’t meet our eye with the shadow of the dastardly act of a few days ago looming large over them.

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8pm on the evening of 28 th June, Kottaguda village in Bijpapur District, Chattisgarh.

There was a meeting being held to discuss the upcoming seed festival – Beeja Pondum. It was a wet monsoon night. Some people from other villages, like Sarkeguda and Rajpenta, were also attending the meeting. A few children loitered around playfully. At 10pm , the CoBRA force and CRPF cordoned off the villages and started firing indiscriminately and without any warning.

The first attack came from the west, and instantly killed three adivasis. This was quickly followed by firing from three other directions. Terrified villagers started running – some tried to take shelter, some ran towards their respective villages. Yet, the bullets continued to spray for another 30 minutes. Then, as if to survey the dead, the CRPF forces fired two flare guns that lit up the area. They languidly ambled through the scene and collected the dead bodies that remained.

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The national Media duly reported the incident following the government version. But by the next morning it slowly emerged that those killed were actually villagers. It was infact a massacre. It was clear that the victims were tribal villagers, who were randomly killed. Some news papers and tv channels corrected their mistake and reported the truth. Some still have not corrected their mistake. Continue reading

India Deploys drones (UAVs) Against Maoist/Naxalite Rebels

March 23, 2012 by The Editor, UAS Vision

The Indian government said on Tuesday that it has begun using unmanned aircraft in Naxal-affected areas of the country. “Yes, madam,” Minister of State for Home Jitendra Singh told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

The minister, however, said, “It is too early to make an assessment on the effectiveness of unmanned aircraft deployed in Left-wing extremism-affected areas.” The biggest threat to the general election does not come from terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir with their Kalashnikovs and rocket-launchers.

It is the spectre of Maoist violence that is worrying security agencies. Thousands of central and state security personnel will be stretched to their limit during the election as they fight a cat and mouse game with men and women who still swear by the dream of proletariat rule. Maoist or Naxalite violence is of serious concern in 12 of India’s biggest states.

Continue reading

Maoists outdo govt offer on surrender

[While it is impossible to verify the truth of this news report, if it is true, the Maoists are cleverly turning the tables on the government’s “reward money” campaign which suggests that revolutionaries are not highly motivated, but are in it for the money– just like the reactionary harmad brigades of armed raiders.-ed]

Hindustan Times
Kolkata, August 23, 2010

In a unique show of one-upmanship, the banned Communist Party of  India (Maoist) has offered to reward all non-Maoist political workers (read CPI-M cadres) for surrendering arms and returning to the mainstream.

On July 28, the West Bengal government made an offer to lure the rebels to the mainstream. Now, the Maoists have made a seven to 10 times bigger counteroffer to disarm the CPI(M) cadres.

The deal was announced by the Maoists’ Bengal-Jharkhand-Orissa ‘Border Regional Committee’ in a leaflet distributed in areas of Purulia and Bankura districts. The leaflet said, “Members of the CPI(M)’s harmad (armed raiders) brigade can surrender and return to the mainstream.” It also warned: “We urge all harmads to surrender. If they do otherwise, the people will show no mercy towards them.” Continue reading