Preliminary Report on the Fact Finding , on terrors of the Armed Forces , #Chhattisgarh #Operationgreenhunt


(Released in a Press Conference at Women’s Press Corps on 15 March 2013)

 

In the three weeks from mid-January till the first week of February, several villages in the Bijapur District of Chhattisgarh experienced the terror of the armed forces of the Indian state. The CRPF, Chhattisgarh state police, erstwhile SPO’s of the Salwa Judum along with various coercive arms of the state orchestrated a systematic targeting of villages, burnt down hundreds of homes, ostensibly in random, further, burnt down the schools built by the people, picked up villagers, young and old, and physically tortured them while their homes burned to the ground. The affected villages are Pidia, Tomnaka, Singham, Lingham, Komati, Tomudum, and Kondapadu, and in each of these between eight and thirty homes were burnt down by the armed forces. In the village of Dodi-Tumnar, a school with hostel facility for about a hundred children, both girls and boys, run by the Janatana Sarkar was looted and then burnt down by the invading forces in the last week of January. Two battalions of about 1000 CRPF personnel each, besides Koya commandos and SPO’s arrived at the village school at 9 am on that day. They systematically proceeded to destroy the school after firing into the air twice. Even as the students and the schoolmaster fled into the forest, the armed forces caught an old man on his way to the field and chopped off his hand with his own sickle. Following this, the forces looted the storeroom and the kitchen of the school, poisoned the water well, and destroyed the roof, walls, and furniture of the school before finally burning it to the ground. They then marched to the nearby village of Pidia. This village, that houses approximately 265 homes, witnessed first hand the ruthlessness with which the armed force burn down the homes and livelihood of those who stand up for their right to life and liberty. Close to thirty homes were burnt down in one part of this village alone. The charred remains of the homes, cattle sheds, storerooms, utensils can be seen littered with empty bottles of beer and other brands of alcohol.

 

By burning schools and homes, looting sources of livelihood, and physically torturing hundreds of adivasis, the state attempted to legitimize this violence in the name of ‘development’. This methodical burning of homes and schools reveals the carnival of violence practiced by the forces to intimidate, brutalize and squash the spirit of those living in these parts without any concern for consequences. The villagers were forced to remain in the forest for three days as the force camped in the hills surrounding the village. A few young men were picked up by the armed force and brutally beaten. Most of the men were released while one still remains in jail. They looted the means of livelihood and sustenance and camped in the village for three days. Before leaving, they burnt the leftover rations and supplies of the villagers that they had looted. Here, it is the Janatana Sarkar to whom the villagers turn to in times like these. The Janatana Sarkar provided medicines and food to the affected villagers. It is now also helping them rebuild the burnt homes. Even as the bare frames of the homes are being rebuilt pillar by pillar and brick by brick, the spirit of resistance is visible for all to see.

 

The Indian state orchestrates these operations in states like Chhattisgarh in the name of ‘developing’ the area. These are also done as measures to counter the rise of revolutionary forces that have organized the people to stand united against such forms of oppression and practice policies that give primacy to the development of the people living here. Here, development does not mean filling the coffers of the state. In these policies for development, the people are the primary concern. When these forces attack the people, their homes, their schools, and their livelihood, they are attacking their right to life. This right to life that should be most fundamental and universal for all within this apparently democratic country is being denied to those who have remained historically deprived and marginalized in the fringe of the concern of the state. Today, these people are paying the price for resisting the injustice inflicted on them by being forced to live without any assurance of the most basic rights this country accords to its citizens, losing all means of livelihood, and most crucially, in blood.

 

In the name of developing the country the Indian state officially launched a massive operation of plunder of natural resources in 2009 by displacing thousands of communities living in the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Bihar, West Bengal and Karnataka. This ‘operation’, ironically called Operation Green Hunt by the corporate run media, undertaken by the current Central Government, expropriates the wealth of the country that rightfully belongs to the people for the benefit of imperialist forces. This wealth, in the form of resources of land, water and forests, is sold to exploitative multinational companies and comprador bourgeoisie. In turn, the resistance of the people has been termed an ‘internal security threat’ by the current Prime Minister who expresses his loyalty to the model of ‘development’ that feeds these corporate sharks. The revolutionary forces along with the people in these parts strive to fight this war waged by the Indian state against its own people. In keeping with the spirit of resistance against injustice, the people have consistently stood up against the machinations of the Indian state even as it signs hundreds of MOU’s that sell-out land, mineral and forest resources of the country. The price paid for these corporate deals is the blood of those who stand up for their right to life, livelihood and liberty against the oppressive Indian state. This resistance by the people represents an alternative model for people’s development, which aims at collectivization of resources in opposition to the Indian state’s model of corporate development. It is this revolutionary change that the Indian state aims to crush by calling it ‘terrorism’ and ‘internal security threat’.

 

The state sponsored ‘cleansing’ programme like the armed vigilante gangs of the Salwa Judum began their operations in 2005. The state officially declared its programme a ‘hunt’ in 2009. This hunt, since its inception, resulted in large-scale violence on people. There is a need to recognize the overlap between the official ‘hunt’ and the ‘cleansing’ done by these state funded vigilante groups that are nurtured and endorsed by the state to split the people from within as they stand up against the anti-people policies of the state by asserting their right to land, livelihood and resources. Even as the media projects this ‘operation’ as part of the effort to wipe out the ‘Naxal infestation’, the very form that this resistance takes militates against this projection. The resistance has roots among the people who have faced the worst atrocities at the hands of this state. These are not mere victims of displacement, deprivation and destruction. These forms of resistance have historically taken root among people who recognize the violence inflicted on them by forces that expropriate land and resources to feed the bottomless pit of corporate greed.

 

The armed forces use the government school buildings in the area as camps in the name of fighting Maoists. These schools become the centres from which the armed forces operate in the area. It creates conditions where access to education is rendered near impossible for those living in these parts. This has affected the basic right of education for the entire adivasi community and specifically the children in the region. Further, in regions where these governmental institutions do not exist and are built by the people themselves, the armed forces attack such schools, shelters, irrigation tanks, wells, and basic amenities of those living in these densely forested areas. These are wanton actions of destruction. This is not merely a question of ‘law and order’ or state control. By attacking homes, means of livelihood, and schools, the armed forces of the state inflict not merely physical violence that has become the norm in the region, but this is part of systemic violence of deprivation, displacement and destruction. This exposes the ‘development’ rhetoric of the state as an open farce.

 

The armed forces continue to commit such atrocities with impunity to displace the people living in the area to fulfill the State’s agenda of ‘development’ as seen in the hundreds of MOU’s signed with corporate houses, agencies, and MNCs. This clears the path to exploit the resource-rich land, water, minerals and forests of Chhattisgarh. This onslaught of violence and exploitation of the people and their resources by the state machinery in the name of development and fighting revolutionary forces exposes the nexus between the state, coercive forces and the corporations that aim to exploit the land and its resources. The casualty of this ‘development model’ has been the adivasi community as they are denied the most basic rights of education, livelihood and liberty. This form of state repression on the people has been visible over the course of ‘Operation Green Hunt’ and visible in the anti-people policies adopted by the state. We must recognize the atrocities committed by the state, expose this nexus of imperialist exploitation and stand by the people who have organized themselves against the state as it attempts to displace them.

 

These people have resolved to fight back by developing schools, shelters, tanks, wells, and such amenities. These are everyday forms of resistance that the state aims to break, by burning down homes and schools and torturing some physically while inflicting collective violence on the lives of people. The collective development of people adopted by those fighting back the ‘model of development’ of the state provides the revolutionary alternative to the imperialist and feudal designs of corporations and the landed bourgeoisie. As the state commits such atrocities against the people everyday and normalizes its forms of violence, the people have militantly resisted such as it speaks the imperialist language of ‘freedom’ and ‘development’ on one hand and participates in wanton destruction of life, livelihood and liberty on another depends on our silence and implied consent. We need to break this silence and stand up against the injustice inflicted on the hundreds. We need to stand together with the struggling masses; the thousands of displaced and deprived people who have resolved to fight back. Today and everyday hence, we must condemn the atrocities committed by the armed forces of the state on the adivasis of Chhattisgarh and elsewhere; expose the nexus between the state, feudal landed interests and corporate houses in these resource rich areas; recognize that this war on people is being fought by those who recognize their right to jaljangaljameen and against the Indian state in its effort to displace people to expropriate their land, livelihood and resources for its imperialist designs.

 

DSU members  if the Fact Finding Team: Ayantika Das, J. K. Vidhya, Sourabh Kumar, Sushil Kumar.

 

Democratic Students’ Union (DSU)

Contact:dsuatdu@gmail.com

#India- Open letter to #BenRattray, #CEO, #Change.org – “Et tu Brutus” #kracktivism


Dear Ben Rattray

You  started  change.org ,to change  the world, you did made an impact on social change in last five years,in US. In the developing world especially in India , there was mutli-fold increase in petitions, in last one year. So what was different about change, which made it so popular?  The fact it was a business model, which was entering social change with a very transparent and accountable agenda . You are not a non profit organisation claiming anything, true, but you were  representing a progressive community fighting for social justice and change, fighting for human rights of people across the globe. You were using the power of business for social good. Also the fact that each petition was checked and there was a coordination between offline protest , campaigns and the online petition.

I invested  my time at change.org  by  creating many  human rights and petitions on change.org in past one year. There have been  small victories  Paypal apologises. There have been some big victories ,Family Matters taken away from Justice Bhaktavatsala, Amnesty International intervenes to Free Waqar, The Kashmiri YouthFreedom for Arun Ferreira behind bars for 4 years under draconian laws  , and some still continue to create impact like the petition for a  To Save Soni Sori and Punish Chhattisgarh Police & has had impact for international mobilization .

I have closely worked with change.org team on  many petitions, and also guided them  time and again on some other petitions as well, as I strongly believed ,in the fact, that they had taken a stand for social justice and human rights.  Change.org, meant business, yes business to take stand for  human rights . I  used to laugh at some of the inane petitions, which were totally ridiculous e.g. homophobic, anti abortion petition, as I  was sure change.org will not give any support, neither a push and the petition will die its own death. But your decision to change your advertising policy in the name of  openness, democracy and empowerment is nothing more than a facade. There was a certain element of  trust which has been broken  by the new changes in your advertising policy. Change.org  built its reputation on arming Davids to take on the Goliaths, now it seems that you think David and Goliath should be on the same team.

After reading the leaked documents, I was very disturbed and angry and asked the change.org team in India about it and I got the following email, by country head of change.org in India on Oct 25th 2012

 Hi Kamayani,

 as you are one of our most active users I wanted to reach out to you to clarify things in light of the Huffington Post and other pieces regarding our advertising guidelines.

Change.org’s mission is to empower people everywhere to create the change they want to see. Our vision is a world in which no one is powerless and making change is a part of daily life.

We believe the best way to achieve this is to have a platform that is truly open (like a true democracy) to all points of view as long as they don’t violate our terms of service – eg: hateful, violent, fraudulent etc. (full details here http://www.change.org/en-IN/about/terms-of-service).

We’re also extending this to our advertisers as long as they do not violate advertising guidelines http://www.change.org/en-IN/about/advertising-guidelines

This is the same yardstick that every tech platform uses – from FB and Google to Huffington Post itself.

 Finally, I would encourage you to read the leaked document as it serves as it clearly explains our position on a number of questions that people might have. It is not as dramatic as the HuffPo article :)

I hope that clarifies. Please let me know if you have further questions.

Cheers,

Avijit

I have read all internal documents word by word, the fact remains you did not plan  to  reach  to me and many other progressive users about the change you were going to embark upon. What these leaked documents revealed goes much beyond that, inclusive of embracing those who want to work against those very causes.  This part of internal document which  I produce below  proves  how your are turning from left to right . How will  you  justify while accepting paid promotions from conservative organizations. After all, conservatives don’t want change. That’s a progressive value. Conservatives want things to remain  the same. Corporations don’t have to run successful campaigns on Change.org in order to defeat the good that’s been done. All they have to do is pay to run so many petitions that current users dislike to get those users to go away or simply stop opening e-mails about petitions.

The full internal Faqs are available here-rebrand-internalfaqs-change.pdf

Your Article in HuffiiPost on Oct 25 also has nothing new  to add to the understanding at all  . In the name of openness now you say YES to-Republican campaigns, soon  I will find a campaign to endorse a legitimate rape ,  Astroturfing campaigns, Corporations.  About Hate groups – you say If a large organization like the The Southern Poverty Law Center( SPLC )says they’re a hate group its a NO , but otherwise yes. For change.org -Anti-abortion, Pro-gun, Union-busting, Animal cruelty is Yes. and you say “We are open to organizations that represent all points of view, including those with which we personally (and strongly) disagree.

Your advertising policy shift demonstrates the potential perils of for-profit companies founded on progressive values, and shows the power of money . You have literally betrayed all the active users of change.org, including me and taken advantage of our issues and petitions for increasing your own database. As a business and a company   you have every right to pivot and change  your brand  positioning. However, under the garb of ‘   you are actually helping further the work of those who we are working to organize against. For eg – with  this new Change.org openness, now anyone is eligible to advertise with you for profit. So after I sign a petition for gay rights, women’s rights and all of the other human rights issues, I might find a link to a sponsored petition that  I wasn’t expecting. Stop  Gay Marriages ! Give Legal recognition to Khap Panchayats !   Legalise ‘ Legitimate Rape ” !  Women should stop wearing skirts !

Its a big thanks to the Whistle -blower who leaked the documents for opening our eyes, and  you fire him from work, Wow, that’s very  Ethical, and you do not mention this at all in your article . Is  it change.org’s  policy not to discuss internal matters even if they are public  . I must say, and the fact we are having a debate, is because of him or her , and my eternal gratitude to the concerned person .

You used to call the non-profits who have spent millions to  support  you succeed “partners”, and now you call them “advertisers”. Nice attempt to make it sound like these were simply commercial transactions.   You make it sound like selling names to the radical right is a grand vision for ‘empowerment'”. Since when is suppressing the rights of women, ‘empowerment’? That’s not a grand vision for good. That’s a grand vision for greed. It’s genius, but let’s be clear. It’s not change. It’s just doubling-down on conflict—clickable, lucrative, conflict-mongering—and calling it a business model. Isn’t selling opt- ins (a user opts in with an email addresses when they sign a petition) to anti-women or anti-gay organizations a corrupt act no matter how you sugar coat it?  With a very liberal base of users on your sight. Your claim that you’ve simply grown too big to devote the necessary time to check out each petition is a betrayal of your origin, which was based on making this a voice for the voiceless,  for those who couldn’t make themselves heard elsewhere over the money. What’s changed  ? You seem to have eliminated change in favor of more of the usual. You may not think that you’re selling out, but at  you’ve made a Faustian deal.

Its  time to bid good bye, and I do so  with by my last petition addressed to you only, to reinstate the Whistle- Blower and come out . I will not be participating in change.org petitions  from now, but  I will definitely will be watching you , as you say in your article

“If it’s still not clear to you which version is accurate, I’d ask you consider suspending final judgment until you see the impact of our actions once the heat of the rhetoric subsides. Because while the impact that Change.org users have had around the world has been growing rapidly, we’re just getting started. And we’d love to work together to change the world.”

It’s very  clear to me where you are heading, and there is no confusion , now you are not a business for a social cause but  like any for profit , you are making money on our database .

Was a change.org petitioner organizer in India

Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Mumbai

28TH October, 2012

Immediate Release: Women’s Delegation meets President Pratibha Patil # Sonisori


President of India

President of India (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A delegation of women comprising of, Beinda Karat (M.P.), Annie Raja (NFIW), Uma Chakravarty, Vrinda Grover and Indira C, met with President Pratibha Patil today (14th  May), and handed over a memorandum, detailing the gross violation of the human rights of tribal teacher, Soni Sori. The memorandum was also signed by Aruna Roy (MKSS),Kavita Srivastava (PUCL) and Vani S.on behalf of Saheli.

The delegation drew the attention of the President to the brutal custodial sexual torture inflicted on Soni Sori by the Chhattisgarh police and the medical report of Kolkata Hospital which had confirmed the same. The President expressed surprise when she heard that S.P. Ankit Garg, under whose direction the custodial sexual violence was alleged to have been inflicted, had received the President’s Gallantry award. The delegation suggested that an independent enquiry be initiated into the gallantry award given to S.P. Ankit Garg. The delegation also expressed apprehension that many other tribal women prisoners in Chhattisgarh jails had suffered similar violations.

The President heard the delegation attentively and assured them that she would write to the concerned governments and authorities.

 The Memorandum submitted by the delegation

To

The Honourable President of India

Ms. Pratibha DeviSingh Patil

14.05.12

Subject: Violation of rights of tribal woman Soni Sori; conferment of President’s Gallantry Award on S.P. Ankit Garg facing allegations of custodial sexual torture

Honourable President,

We thank you for giving us an audience to personally convey to you our concerns, regarding the sexual torture, persecution and violation of the rights of Ms Soni Sori, on behalf of many individuals, women’s groups and other democratic organisations.

Ms. Soni Sori has been working as an adivasi teacher at the government-run Jabeli ashram school, in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh.  Ms. Sori was subjected to brutal custodial torture, including sexual violence, by several policemen inside the Dantewada Police Station in October 2011.  The facts regarding her persecution by the local police for more than a year preceding her arrest, the charges filed against her, the heinousness of her torture, and the subsequent events are all appended, for your kind consideration, in the form of a FACT SHEET (Annexure I).  Ms. Sori has filed a petition before the Supreme Court under Article 32 of the Constitution of India seeking a direction for the setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of police officers from outside the state of Chhattisgarh, to investigate the criminal prosecutions against her, as well as her allegation regarding the attempt by the Chhattisgarh police to murder her on 11th September 2011 (WRIT PETITION (CRL) NO. 206 OF 2011).

Briefly stated the facts are as follows. Ms Sori was arrested in Delhi on October 4th 2011 and remanded to the custody of Chhattisgarh Police by the Delhi High Court on October 7th.   Taking cognizance of the grave apprehension and well-grounded fears expressed by Ms Sori, about her safety in hands of the Chhattisgarh police, the Delhi High Court issued directions to the Chhattisgarh police to ensure her safety while in their custody and had specifically ordered the Commissioner of Police in Chhattisgarh to file an affidavit in the Delhi High Court outlining steps taken to keep Ms Sori safe.

But, in what can only be termed to be an act of flagrant contempt of court and of all constitutional safeguards, the Chhattisgarh police brutally tortured her on the night of October 8th / 9th, when she was in their custody.  Ms. Sori has written to the Supreme Court that while she was in police custody, she was stripped before the Superintendent of Police, Ankit Garg, and given electric shocks under his directions.  Furthermore, not only did he use abusive language against her, he ordered three police personnel to “punish her” by sexually torturing her for disobeying his command to name well-known social activists, such as Swami Agnivesh and Medha Patkar, as Naxal supporters (Copy of Ms Soni’s letter enclosed asAnnexure II).  The brutal torture went to the extent of inserting stones and batons into her private parts. An independent medical examination carried out by the NRS government hospital in Kolkata, under the direction of the Supreme  Court, has confirmed her sexual torture by recovering stones embedded in her vagina and rectum. (Medical Report of NRS Hospital Kolkata enclosed as Annexure III).

Ms Sori was fearful of torture by the Chhattisgarh police, as she was being severely harassed by them since mid-2010, to reveal the whereabouts of her nephew Mr Lingaram Kodopi, who in turn was also being framed by the Chhattisgarh Police after he refused to comply with their directive to enrol as a Special Police Officer (SPO).  Ms Sori too had resisted pressure from the Chhattisgarh police to give false evidence implicating her fellow villagers as Maoists.  In order to compel and coerce Ms Soni, the local police implicated her in several false criminal cases of naxalite violence, and even arrested her husband in one such fabricated case.  In December 2010 the Chhattisgarh police declared Ms Sori an “absconder”, even though throughout this time the police continued to meet her frequently to know the whereabouts of Mr Lingaram.  Further, official records show that Ms Sori was present in her school regularly and attending to all her duties, during the same period.  Ironically while the police were harassing and intimidating her on the trumped up charge ofsupporting Naxalites, Naxalites attacked her father and uncle’s houses, looted them, and grievously wounded her father in the attack.

Following the arrest of her nephew Mr Lingaram on September 9 2011, Ms Sori came to Delhi to seek legal help, and fearing for her life, particularly because the Chhattisgarh police had tried to eliminate her on 11th September 2011. Mr. Lingaram is now accused of being a conduit for bribe allegedly being paid by the company Essar to the Maoists. The police claim that Ms Sori is also involved in this case, and have also framed her in other false cases.  But Ms Sori has evidence to expose that false cases have been registered against her and Mr. Lingaram.

Her case is of national importance and urgency for several reasons.  Firstly, such unlawful and barbaric conduct by Chhattisgarh police had been foreseen and feared by Ms. Sori before she was handed over to their custody, and had been explicitly stated before the Sessions Court and High Court in Delhi. By itself such custodial sexual torture is a matter ofgreat concern – the fact that it can happen despite judicial scrutiny and monitoring is deeply disturbing and worrisome. This raises serious concerns about the condition of other women prisoners in police or judicial custody whose cases have not received attention, a matter highlighted by Ms Sori in one of her letters (Annexure IV).

Secondly, there is incontrovertible evidence of inhuman custodial torture and sexual violence by the police, in the form of the independent medical report of the NRS MedicalCollege and Hospital, Kolkata (Annexure III). Such intimidation of ordinary citizens who are only exercising their guaranteed rights, and such custodial violence and brazen disregard of the constitutional safeguards is of grave concern, especially when meted out by the protectors of the law. If ignored and left unpunished, it sets dangerous precedents for thesubversion of rule of law and human rights of disadvantaged and marginalized citizens.  In a civilized, constitutional democracy there is no place and there can be no excuse,whatsoever, for torture including sexual violence under any circumstances.  It raises serious concerns about the security and dignity of women.

We are approaching you with deep dismay at Ms Soni Sori’s continued vulnerability despite her repeated pleas for protection from various courts, and the grave violation of her rights as an under-trial.  Despite repeated petitioning, other statutory national human rights institutions for protection of citizens’ rights have been indifferent towards these violations and the contempt for court orders by the police (Letters to NHRC, NCW, CM, and SC in Annexures V, VI, VII). This raises grave concerns regarding impunity and lack of accountabilityof police and other public servants.

Not only has no action or inquiry been initiated against the S.P. Ankit Garg, who has been named by Ms Sori as as being responsible for the torture, it is deeply shocking that on this 26th January 2012 he has been conferred with the President’s Police Medal for Gallantry. It is disturbing to note that in spite of a large number of citizens’ groups, nationally and internationally, protesting against SP Ankit Garg’s unlawful and criminal conduct, the government has deemed it fit to confer him with a gallantry award, especially while the Honourable Supreme Court is still examining her complaints. Conferring an award in the face of these complaints, which have not even received a cursory investigation, amounts to condoning the sexual torture inflicted on Ms Sori and the violence which is being perpetrated on tribal population of this country, in the name of anti-Naxal operations.

As the constitutional head of this country, we approach you with deep regard and faith that you shall ensure that the rights and dignity of the most vulnerable and marginalized will be upheld and the fundamental guarantees promised by the Indian Constitution, of justice, equality and right to life enforced.

We seek your urgent intervention to:-

i)                             Initiate a credible inquiry into the custodial violence suffered by Soni Sori

ii)                           Promptly recall the President’s Gallantry award bestowed on S.P. Ankit Garg, facing serious allegations of custodial torture and sexual violence

iii)                        Constitute a comprehensive and credible inquiry to ensure protection of rights and dignity of the large number of tribal women, like Ms Sori, languishing in jails in Chhattisgarh

iv)                         Ensure an immediate halt and initiate exemplary punitive action against police and other security forces indulging in widespread and systematic violationof rights of tribal women, in the name of anti Maoist operations.

Yours,

Annie Raja, National Federation of Indian Women

Brinda Karat, ex-MP, Rajya Sabha and All India Democratic Women’s Association

Uma Chakravarti, Retired Professor, Delhi University

Aruna Roy, Member National Advisory Council and member MKSS

Advocate Vrinda Grover

Kavita Srivastava, General Secretary, PUCL

Vani Subramanian SAHELI, Delhi

Maoist-hit cop’s wife hurls bribe salvo at seniors


By Sahar Khan, Feb 12, 2012-The wife of a senior police officer critically wounded in a landmine blast, has alleged that the Chhattisgarh Police ‘forced’ her husband to remain in a Maoist-hit area for 10 years because they could not pay up for a transfer. Additional superintendent of police D.S. Marawi‘s wife Radha lashed out at senior officers for not heeding her husband’s pleas seeking transfer out of the Maoistshit areas because he did not pay a bribe. Two constables were killed and three others were wounded including the ASP in a blast triggered by Maoists in Sukma district on Thursday. The injured were air-lifted to Raipur from Bastar for medical treatment.

‘He (Marawi) had twice written to higher authorities seeking transfer but no one listened. We don’t have “illegally earned” money and since we couldn’t pay he remained deployed in the Maoists stronghold for 10 years,’ Radha said pointing fingers at police officers responsible for transfer of police personnel in the state.

Tears welling in her eyes sitting outside the intensive care unit of Ram Krishna Care Hospital where her husband is admitted she recollected how her children always insisted their father not venture into the interior areas and seek a transfer to a secure place since he is on Maoists’ hit list.

‘This is his third miraculous escape from a attack by the Maoists,’ she said.

‘It is ridiculous to blame the transparent transfer process and policy. These are undertaken in accordance with the rules and at the government level,’ said Ram Niwas, additional director general of police (anti-Maoist operation).

Admitting that Marawi had sought a transfer the ADG said he was given a safer position equivalent to a commandant of armed police training centre in Bastar.

‘He was not deployed on the field. Rather what surprised us was his choice to follow a risky route and visit Polampalli from Dornapal, a known Maoist hotbed, by road instead of using the chopper to return in the evening,’ Ram Niwas said.

A senior officer based in Bastar stated that Marawi’s decision itself becomes a matter of investigation since it led to the death of two policemen.

Marawi was reportedly called by a visiting team of CBI in Dantewada to depose before it in connection with the attack on activist Swami Agnivesh by a mob in March 2011.

After the blast the guerrillas opened firing on the jeep in which Marawi was travelling with the police team. But top police officers rubbished the allegation.