India: Two killed, 15 escape in Jharkhand jailbreak

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  

JAMSHEDPUR , December 10, 2014,10/12/2014

India: Maoist action frees Political Prisoners

Maoists ambush Jharkhand jail van, kill 4 and free eight comrades

, TNN | Nov 10, 2012

Maoists ambush Jharkhand jail van, kill 4 and free eight comrades
About 100 Maoists ambushed a police van carrying 32 prisoners from Giridih court to the divisional jail on Friday. They freed eight of their comrades and three cops and one prisoner were killed in the attack.
DHANBAD: In a carefully-planned and deftly executed operation, about 100 Maoists, including armed women, ambushed a police van carrying 32 prisoners from Giridih court to the divisional jail on Friday. They freed eight of their comrades and three cops and one prisoner were killed in the attack during which more than two dozen ordinary prisoners escaped. Continue reading

India: Farmers vs corporate will

Root Cause: A fear of loss of livelihood accompanies anger in Charkudih and nearby villages

By Sudeep Chakravarti, LiveMint
[Photo of farmers agitating against the government’s land acquisition activities. Photo: Hindustan Times]
The rain has softened the dirt lanes in Charkudih. The slim strip of tar that brings me to this tiny village is cracked. In what passes for the village square, a child, too young to be in school, wails as he slips in a pool of muck and dung. Hens are more adroit. The surrounding green is compensatory: Lush fruit trees and knee-high paddy. A short walk away the Subarnarekha river marks the state border in this part of eastern Jharkhand. Across lies a stunning line of cloud-crested hills in Purulia, West Bengal.
This is usually a quiet time. But there is already much excitement in Charkudih and 14 neighbouring villages of Sonahatu block. A steel company—among India’s top five—wants much of their land. A document I possess marks the details of the plots to be acquired by the steel maker, totalling about 6,400 acres.
Embedded in the phrase “to be acquired” is obfuscation, confusion and apprehension far removed from lofty corporate pronouncements; even the ongoing government-and-business versus greens tug of war over land acquisition, resettlement and rehabilitation. This is a tiny story about some farmers’ initial encounter with corporate will.
About a dozen of us huddle in a tiny room of a resident that evidently doubles as Charkudih’s clubhouse. A card game is in abeyance. A grimy table fan awaits electricity. A battered black and white TV set is hooked up to a small battery, both dead. A calendar of a brick-making firm is turned to September.
Locals say there hasn’t been any public meeting to discuss the project. They first twigged on to it last year when some local land agents started visiting landowners—farmer-owners of tiny plots to landlords—with a simple message: jameen bech do (sell your land). The price: `5 lakh an acre. When villagers queried the purpose, they received evasive answers. A few have sold land to agents—villagers share their names—but when they queried the local revenue officer in whose names the purchased lands have been registered, they were shooed away. Continue reading

Where Ants Drove Out Elephants

The Story of People’s Resistance to Displacement in Jharkhand

January 6, 2012

By Stan Swamy, Sanhati

This article is an introduction to the trajectory of peoples’ movements against displacement in Jharkhand in the last few years. As the author writes, the resistance in Jharkhand has resulted in the fact that “[o]ut of the about one hundred MOUs signed by Jharkhand government with industrialists, hardly three or four companies have succeeded in acquiring some land, set up their industries and start partial production.” – Ed.

2010: A rally against Operation Green Hunt, in Ranchi, Jharkhand

Displacement is painful for anybody – to leave the place where one was born and brought up, the house that one built with one’s own labour. It is most painful when no alternate resettlement has been worked out and one has nowhere to go. And when it comes to the indigenous Adivasi People for whom their land is not just an economic commodity but a source of spiritual sustenance, it can be heart-rending.

A very conservative estimate indicates that during the last 50 years approximately 2 crore 13 lakh people have been displaced in the country owing to big projects such as mines, dams, industries, wild-life sanctuaries, field firing range etc. Of this, at least 40%, approximating 85 lakhs, are Indigenous Adivasi People. Of all the displaced, only one-fourth have been resettled. The remaining were given some cash compensation arbitrarily fixed by local administration and then neatly forgotten.

Independent studies done during the mid-1990s reveal that in Jharkhand about 15 lakh persons have been displaced and about 15 lakh acres of land alienated from mainly Adivasi people. Needless to say, during the last 15 years a lot more displacement of people and alienation of land have taken place. Strange but true, rehabilitation of the displaced was never taken seriously by any govt during all these six decades when the process of industrialization for ‘national development’ has been in vogue. In fact there was no rehabilitation policy at all!MOU-signing spree after the creation of Jharkhand

The real reason for the creation of Jharkhand as a separate state in November 2000 was not so much to respect and honour the long cherished wish and struggle of the indigenous people to govern themselves as per their culture & traditions, but in view of opening up the vast mineral resources to national & international mining companies whose pressure was increasingly brought to bear on the government. Quite understandably, one MOU after another was signed between the state government and various companies without any reference or consultation or consent of the mainly Adivasi people in whose land all this natural wealth is stored. Continue reading

India:’Operation NGO Hunt’ in Jharkhand state

[This article from the Indian media exposes that the Indian government’s attacks on “Maoists” and “Naxalites” now include adivasis (tribal people) and over 1300 Non-Governmental Organizations–that advocate for tribal people’s rights in the state of Jharkhand alone.–Frontlines ed.]


Indian state of Jharkhand

Mainstream, December 11, 2010

’Operation NGO Hunt’ in Jharkhand

by Gladson Dungdung

The Jharkhand Government has launched a new operation in the State; it can be called “Operation NGO Hunt”.

In a latest discovery, the Jharkhand Police have found 1300 nongovernmental organisations (NGOs) as sympathisers of the Naxalites though nobody knows the ‘parameters’ of the ‘sympathisers’. However, the way the state is behaving with these organisations, it is very clear that anyone who raises questions against the violation of the rights of the people residing in the Red Corridor is a sympathiser of the Naxalites.

In fact, these NGOs, human rights groups and mass organisations are empowering the villagers, mobilising them and fighting to protect their constitutional rights in the Red Corridor but the state is determined to suppress them.

Therefore, the government has ordered an inquiry into these NGOs. The Superintendent of Police (Intelligence Department) and the Deputy Commissioners of the concerned districts are investigating the matter. According to the Intelligence Department, some NGOs are involved in unlawful activities; several organisations have direct links with the Naxalites and many organisations have protested against the government in the street. The Police Headquarters has also identified these NGOs and the Home Department has sent a list of these NGOs to the Deputy Commissioners.

It seems from the state’s action that no one has the right to protest against the state under any circumstance. If so, why do we have the constitutional rights? Are we really living in a democratic country, where only the Naxalites and Maoists have the right to protest? Continue reading

India: Maoists block railway track construction in Jharkhand

Latehar, September 24 (ANI): Maoists torched two excavator machines that were engaged in the construction of the Lohardaga-Tori railway link in Latehar district in Jharkhand on Wednesday. The staff of the construction company disclosed this on Thursday informing that the incident took place around 8.30 pm, when some unidentified rebels attacked the construction site.

Maoist attacks have become more frequent this year, especially after the federal government launched Operation Green Hunt, a coordinated security offensive involving tens of thousands of police and paramilitary personnel to flush out the rebels from their jungle hideouts in central and eastern Indian states.

Fake Military Encounters in Jharkhand, India

By Gladson Dungdung

In the afternoon on July 5, 2010, the security forces comprising of JAP and SAF under the leadership of E.H. Siddique the officer-in-charge of Tamar Police Station arrived to Gunti village and picked up 45 year-old Etwa Munda of Papirdah village (which comes under Tamar police station of Ranchi district in Jharkhand), when he was in the house of his relative Manav Munda. The police also caught a girl Bengi Kumari and escorted both of them towards Jabla pahari (forest). After sometime, the villagers heard the sound of firing and rushed toward the spot. They were shocked to see the dead body of Etwa Munda laying on the ground.

The police framed the cold-blooded murder of Etwa Munda as a result of an encounter between the police and the Maoists. The police also depicted him as a hardcore Maoist who was very closed to the Maoist Zonal commander Kundan Pahan. Perhaps, Etwa Munda was not an innocent person but under which laws the police killed him in a fake encounter is the question needs to be answered.

Since the villagers were fully aware of the cold-blooded murder of Etwa Munda therefore the police spared Bengi Kumari and threatened the villagers and family members of the deceased for keeping quite. However, the villagers wanted to raise the issue therefore they approached to a local activist Xavier Soy and told him about the fake encounter. Continue reading

Dispossession of the Adivasis of Jharkhand, India

Coal strip mine in Jharkhand

By Stan Swamy

05 August, 2010,

The dispossessed Adivasi is hunted as a criminal; the looter-outsider has become ‘honourable citizen’

1. The sad story of impoverishment of the Adivasi [the tribal people of India]: A few examples will suffice. Gladson Dungdung is a young human rights activist and writer. His family had 20 acres of fertile land in Simdega district, Jharkhand . It was forcibly acquired by the govt for the construction of a dam at a terribly low rate. The compensation for the 20 acres fertile land the family got was Rs. 11,000. Even by minimal standards, it should have been at least Rs. 20 Iakhs. This is just one example among many many such deprivations. Is this not deliberate impoverishment of a people ?

2. The Suvernrekha Project in Chandil, Jharkhand, displaced 120 villages and alienated 43,500 acres of land from the Adivasi, Moolvasi communities. A rehabilitation package was worked out 27 years ago. But it has not been implemented in about half of the villages. Yet people of these villages have lost every thing they had. To add insult to injury, the project management wants to close the radial gates of the dam which will inundate 44 villages awaiting rehabilitation Is this not a deliberate act of deprivation of a people?

3. Heavy Electricals Company (HEC) in Ranchi displaced 12,990 families and alienated 9,200 acres of land from Adivasi, Moolvasi communities. Of this, about 2000 acres of acquired land has been lying idle during half a century. This surplus land should as per law be returned to the original land owners. But the govt is giving it for real estate housing for the well-to-do. Is this not a deliberate violation of the legal rights of a people?

4. During the past five decades, about 17 lakh of Adivasis & Moolvasis [1.7 million people] have been displaced and about 24 lakh acres of their land has been alienated from them at minimal compensation. Of the displaced, only 25% have been resettled. The remaining 75% have been neatly forgotten. This whole process of dispossession took place without any rehabilitation policy in place. Is this not a deliberate dispossession of a people ? Continue reading