#India -‘Tribals turn extremists because states are too busy making money from land’


 Down to Earth
Author(s): Sonum Gayatri M…
Date:Jun 13, 2013

The world’s largest democracy is facing a surge in tribal uprisings. The recent killings of Mahendra Karma and other Congress leaders in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh  has prompted the government to address issues of land dispossession and socioeconomic deprivations of tribals. These are the key issues that have been precipitating recurring violence across various parts of the country. Union Minister of Tribal Affairs Kishore Chandra Deo speaks to Sonum Gayatri Malhotra about the obstacles hindering effective governance of tribal communities in Schedule Five areas and how to overcome them. Edited excerpts from the interview

Kishore Chandra DeoKishore Chandra DeoTribals of Bastar are protesting against the provisions of the Fifth Schedule. With elections nearing, they are demanding tribal autonomy in the district as provided under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. Do you think the Sixth Schedule is working better in protecting tribal rights?

The Fifth Schedule of the Constitution has no dearth of laws in protecting the tribal rights. Bastar’s demand to introduce Sixth Schedule provisions in a Fifth Schedule area is not pragmatic and is definitely not well thought through.

Hypothetically, introduction of Sixth Schedule in Fifth Schedule areas would need a statutory amendment to the Constitution. This is an interminable process. Moreover, amending the composition of the Constitution is a process that first needs to be addressed by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs. The Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs is relatively a new ministry, which came into existence 12 years ago. Before that, scheduled tribes came under the purview of the home ministry. Unfortunately, not all powers have been transferred to the tribal affairs ministry yet. This is a problem. I have limitations as a Union minister. I can only guide the governors of Schedule Five states to evoke their discretionary powers and inform the President of the situation.

But there is confusion over the role of governors in Schedule Five areas. In 2009, then President Pratibha Patil said that the Fifth Schedule devolves special responsibility on the governors in administering scheduled areas and ensuring peace and good governance among tribal communities. But recently, Assistant Solicitor General (ASG) Fouzia Mirza in her submission to the Bilaspur High Court said that a governor under the Fifth Schedule has no discretionary power. Based on her submission, the court dismissed a petition challenging constitutionality of the Tribes Advisory Council and powers of the governor under this schedule. Tribal rights activists have now approached the Centre seeking Presidential reference to the Supreme Court on interpretation of the Fifth Schedule.

The case was recently brought to my notice in response to letters I had sent out to all governors holding posts in Fifth Scheduled states.

The powers exercised by the governor especially under the Fifth Schedule are discretionary powers. The governor is not only the administrative and executive head of the state but also represents the Centre at the state. Fouzia Mirza has got it wrong. I am sad that an ASG, a top government official, erred on such a critical matter.

Most scholars and opposition parties also think that governors are of partisan nature, considering they have never evoked their powers given under the Fifth Schedule. Former governor of Odisha M C Bhandare had said “governors’ role constitutionally exists on paper but actually there is no existing support on ground”.

It is time governors started taking responsibility and invoked the powers which have been conferred on them under the provisions of Article 244 under the Fifth Schedule. It is time for a wake-up call. We are talking about the most marginalised sections. If the government of a state is not directing laws to benefit scheduled tribes, it is the role of the governor to intervene and set things right. When the Constitution was being framed, it was decided that a representative would ensure equality for indigenous communities that would protect them from the burgeoning globalising expansions and secure their fundamental rights. That’s why the governor is not bound by the aid and advice of the Tribes Advisory Council but can direct executive orders in his own discretion.

M C Bhandare has done wrong by not doing anything for the tribal communities of Odisha, where mining has been a critical issue. Constitutionally, the governor is to administer, legislate and execute directives for Fifth Schedule areas. Implementation of development programmes are channelled through the state department, however, the governors can direct laws for areas inhabited by scheduled tribes.

I am ready to take charge of the Fifth Schedule states that have seen governors neglecting their duties. The nodal ministry can empower to assign themselves the powers that have been conferred under the Fifth Schedule for the peace and good governance in tribal regions.

Don’t you think the contentious conflicts between ministries have only imploded to create mistrust among the tribals towards the government? In the latest such instance, the Union environment ministry headed by Jayanthi Natarajan has sought dilution of power of the gram sabha

Today, the growing mining sector is the main threat in Schedule Five areas. This has shaken the confidence and faith of the people in these regions in our democratic system. In many cases, powerful lobbies are trying to encourage mining in a flagrant violation of Constitutional provisions. The variant ideologies of ministries seem to have stemmed from market incitement. Ministries are working at cross-purposes. This is a turf war, lamentably in a social sector which is the most unfortunate.

Fifth Schedule areas in Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are governed by the Panchayats Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act. Such areas are meant to be lightly policed. But the government’s emphasis on policing and militarism is evident. Your comment

Deployment of forces in areas inhabited by tribal communities is sending out a message that can only provoke disorder other than what is desired. Sending military or paramilitary forces to these areas will not help contain the uprisings as these are not merely law and order problems. Having said that, one should address the core issue of these uprisings; these areas do not have adequate development. Basic human amenities like food, drinking water and healthcare are lacking. It is the duty of the state government to develop the regions responsibly in accordance with the communities’ requirement.

Most people from the tribal communities end up joining extremists’ movement because the state is too busy concentrating on how to use land in the most profitable way. Lashkar-e-Toiba is funding the Naxalite Movement. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has alleged that the biggest internal threats to the country are its tribal communities. Inevitable alien militant forces triggering hostility in Fifth Schedule Areas, especially bordering states, is bound to undermine the very national integrity.

Sonum Gayatri Malhotra works with Centre for Policy Research, Delhi

 

Interviewee:
Kishore Chandra Deo

 

Maoists in the jungle, Bhagat Singh in the fields—welcome to India Burning


Spotlight | Sting operation

 via ‘Red Ant Dream’
Nandini Ramnath, Live mint 

A still from ‘Red Ant Dream’
A few days after a Maoist attack on a Congress party convoy killed at least 27 people, including the founder of the erstwhile militia Salwa Judum, a poll on the website of the television channel CNN-IBN asked: “Bloodbath in Chhattisgarh: Have human rights groups failed to strongly condemn Naxal violence?”
The options were yes or no, the assumption being that civil liberty activists are more worried about armed insurgents than civilians. That assumption is a familiar one for film-maker Sanjay Kak, whose documentaries Words on Water, on the struggle against the Narmada dam, and Jashn-e-Azadi, on the Kashmiri pro-independence movement, dispense with objectivity and take an explicit and vocal stand against the Indian state.
He has encountered his fair share of dissenters to his brand of dissent, but he sees the debate deepening over such prickly issues as the Maoist insurgency, with which he deals in his new documentary Red Ant Dream. “I don’t get asked any more if I am a Naxalite,” he says in a phone interview from Delhi, where he lives and works. “We have gotten past that one.”
Sanjay Kak at his Delhi residence. Photo: Pradeep Gaur/Mint

After screenings in Delhi and Punjab, the film will travel to Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad in the coming weeks.

Although Kak makes the case that tribal resistance goes back several decades, and that governments in states like Chhattisgarh are only new manifestations of systemic oppression, the recent killings makeRed Ant Dream a red-hot documentary. The film maps three troubled zones—apart from the Maoists in Bastar in Chhattisgarh, there are tribals battling industrialists in Niyamgiri in Orissa, and a culture of protest built around the memory of Leftist revolutionary Bhagat Singh in Punjab. Seen together with Words on Water (2002) and Jashn-e-Azadi (2007), Red Ant Dream is about India Burning, as it were. The three films are about “the idea of resistance”, Kak says, but he traces this resistance through its foot soldiers rather than its generals and ideologues.
“I am not interested in fundamental questions of power relationships,” Kak says. “The film does not try to be a Naxalism 101, just likeJashn-e-Azadi was not trying to be a Kashmir 101.” His films are about ideology, he says, but “not terribly concerned with party formations” or a “party line”. Words on Water inaugurated his attempt to move beyond being a visual stenographer of movements. “Words on Waterbegan as a campaign film and I tried to make it something else, but it eventually is neither,” Kak says. “In the Kashmir film, I was not particularly interested in what X or Y or Z was saying but in evoking another kind of space.”
Red Ant Dream is three films rolled into one. It is in the mould of documentaries like Amar Kanwar’s A Night of Prophecy (2002), which examines protest music, theatre and literature across India, and Anand Patwardhan’s Jai Bhim Comrade (2011), whose examination of caste taps a rich vein of Dalit protest music. The Punjab segment in Red Ant Dream, which follows groups inspired by Bhagat Singh’s pre-independence Marxist critique of colonialism and inequality, intermingles with on-ground footage of rallies against mining in Niyamgiri and a clandestine encounter with Maoist groups in Bastar.
Kak could have focused on the Maoists, but he chose not to. “The core material came from Bastar, but that’s not the film I wanted to make,” he says. “The most urgent thing was to say something that would start a conversation about the idea of revolution. There has been an effacement, an invisibilization of radical politics. But I don’t have an abstract nostalgia—there are real engagements and these are about real things.”
The Punjab chapter too could have been its own film. Kak first went there trailing the revolutionary poet Avtar Singh Sandhu, who wrote under the pseudonym Pash. “I asked a professor what remains of Naxalism in Punjab today, and he said culture and poetry. Of course, the connection between Pash and Bhagat Singh emerged, and I could see the mobilization around this constellation.” Some viewers have embraced the seeming digressions into Punjab, while others have been “baffled and annoyed” by it, Kak says.
The most talked about section, at least for the moment, is likely to be the one that gives the documentary its name. Kak travelled to Bastar with writer and activist Arundhati Roy for two weeks in February 2010. He shot Maoists speaking about their motivation to engage the government in battle and sharing a dietary secret—a paste of the eggs of red ants.
Although Kak spent a little over six weeks in Bastar, Orissa and Punjab, it took two years to sculpt a 120-minute film out of the footage. The documentary is packed with crisp, terse images of dissent that aim to provoke thought rather than emotion. “What you don’t want to show is long, vérité sequences of affect and consequence,” Kak says about editor Tarun Bhartiya’s approach. “You don’t want people to say, I loved that girl in the forest. But you do want people to see somebody for 20 seconds and never forget them. It’s a rhetorical or didactic assemblage of images—the idea is to engage people on a continuous basis. You are never trying to seduce them into a state of relaxation.”
The approach to editing pretty much sums up Kak’s larger perspective on the role of the documentary. He belongs to the strain of independent documentary film-making that developed in the 1970s in stark opposition to the broadly propagandist Films Division vision of an India on the up. The country spotlighted by these film-makers is an unequal and unjust place in which tribals are being kicked off their land, women abused by population control policies and slum-dwellers ignored by urban policies. The documentaries are diverse in style and ideology, but they are bound together by disagreement with the way things were.
Kak’s own practice has crystallized in recent years into tracking down ordinary practitioners of radical ideas. He didn’t formally study film-making, but learnt on the job while assisting on documentaries and on Pradip Krishen’s feature Massey Sahib. “It’s about footage and how you view footage—it’s why I am never interested in following a set of characters, or one family or one squad,” he says. “The examination of what is going on is an endless process. These three films are an exposition of a certain idea, formally too. One has tried to fashion for oneself, in the way the three films are edited, a language that is appropriate for one’s politics.”
However, even radical film-makers must make “pitches” at fund-raising conferences and festival marketplaces these days to get their films off the ground. Red Ant Dream was financed by funds given by an IDFA Fund grant and a prize from the Busan International Film Festival, South Korea. “I didn’t pitch for the film, we raised the money based on a trailer,” says Kak, who has strong views on the pitching process. “We are in the process of recouping not inconsequential sums of money from DVD sales—there is solid potential there.”
Part of the thrill, and stress, of making political-minded documentaries comes from raising money, ensuring distribution (usually free screenings at friendly venues) and the odd festival exposure. “You compensate for the fact that you don’t have a budget by doing everything yourself,” Kak observes. “Everything is done with people’s pyaar-mohabbat (love and affection). The economics are always exhausting, but this too shall pass.”
Red Ant Dream will be screened in Mumbai at the Alliance Française on 14 June, 7pm, and at the Films Division auditorium on 15 June, 4pm. Click here for details about screenings in other cities.

Naxalism in Chhattisgarh is a fallout of Salwa Judum: Tribal Affairs Minister


naxalites

By ET Bureau | 30 May, 2013,
READ MORE ON » tribal affairs minister | Shivraj Patil | Salwa Judum | Naxalism | massacre | Kishore Chandra Deo |Jairam Ramesh

 

What you have seen in Bastar over the last two weeks - starting with Sarkeguda and then this massacre - is nothing but chain reaction to Salwa Judum, says KC Deo
What you have seen in Bastar over the last two weeks – starting with Sarkeguda and then this massacre – is nothing but chain reaction to Salwa Judum, says KC Deo
What you have seen in Bastar over the last two weeks – starting with Sarkeguda and then this massacre – is nothing but chain reaction to Salwa Judum, says Tribal Affairs Minister Kishore Chandra Deo

Do you need to rethink the strategy against Naxalism after Bastar? 

All this is the fallout of Salwa Judum. I had opposed the movement since Shivraj Patilwas home minister. What you have seen in Bastar over the last two weeks – starting with Sarkeguda and then this massacre – is nothing but chain reaction to Salwa Judum.

Do you think the government should change its strategy? 

How? All along they have been taking police action. I have been saying that we need to take action wherever there is a law and order situation but the stress should be on developmental activities

The government has many schemes, like Integrated Action Plan… 

These have shown results in some areas but there is the need to involve people in decision-making. Present schemes put all power in the hands of DMs, district forest officer and the superintendent of police.

How should the government approach the Naxal problem? 

Development should precede combing operations. I come from a Naxal-affected area. One part of my constituency, Parvatipuram, had this problem. The only way we could tackle it was by first building roads, then supplying drinking water and then all other facilities followed. While constructing roads, you must provide security so that you can tackle the Naxals.

You seem to differ with your colleague Jairam Ramesh who termed Maoists as terrorists…

I wouldn’t go to that extent. They are extremists, yes. Their actions are of an extremely undemocratic nature.

Congress is talking about a nexus between the corporates and Naxals… 

That’s true. Some private firm employees were caught with money which had to be paid to Naxals. But after those news items we found nothing. Why was there no probe? Corporate houses pay protection money.

Interviewed by Nidhi Sharma

 

Chhattisgarh – Carrying bodies, tribal women of Bastar lead protests against cops


Ashutosh Bhardwaj : Gangalur, Ehadsameta , Mon May 20 2013,
BasterAn injured outside Gangalur police station. (IE Photo)

Bastar has seen several protests but rarely have tribal women come out and beat their breasts, shouting slogans. Surprisingly, men tried to calm them down, pull them away but these women continued to scream and hurled stones at the Gangalur police station and nearby CRPF camp.Old and young women were protesting while carrying bodies of their husbands and sons, handed over to them around 1 pm on Sunday. They knew only Gondi and Halbi but managed a few Hindi abuses. “Wapas jao… wapas jao..,” they shouted at the CRPF camp as they laid down the bodies at the thana gate and tried to break open its lock. Two old women rattled barbed fencing of the CRPF camps and threw stones at the personnel on guard, forcing them to run for cover. “Raman Sarkar murdabaad, murdaabaad.” Some of them hurled utensils inside the thana. “Stop killing tribals; kill us now, if you dare.”

All the deceased were men; two of them father and sons — Karam Joga and his son Badru (13), Karam Pandu and his son Guddu (14). The other minor boy killed was Punem Lakhu (15).

The agony did not end with their death. The bodies were lying in open field, under 45 degree sun, decomposing, badly swollen and emanating unbearable smell. CRPF men, face covered, guarded them with X-95, AK-47 with an Under Barrel Grenade Launcher.

“Jara pet par chira laga,” a doctor said. He too had his face covered. A man, Suklu, came forward and cut open a naked body. Red worms protruded out from stomach. “Dead bodies become like balloon. When you cut them, they produce fart like sound,” a CRPF cop explained. Relatives of the deceased held the bodies as the doctor examined the bodies with a stick, from a distance.

“Don’t you have another blade, a new one,” Civil Surgeon Dr B R Pujari asked his colleagues. Only two blades were used so far, and five bodies had been cut open from various sides, the doctor thought of changing the blade. But there was none. Suklu did not change surgical gloves through the process.

Pujari admitted that it’s against the law to conduct postmortem in open, that too in police presence, and the entire process was probably illegal. “Under certain conditions, an officer with rank of SDM and above can give permission to conduct it otherwise,” he tried to explain.

SDM Virendra Bahadur Panchbhai said: “The only requirement for postmortem is of adequate light. Other things can be relaxed in special situations.”

An hour later, their women relatives were protesting outside the thana for justice. They had arrived here on Saturday evening when police forcibly brought the bodies along, but now after nearly 24 hours men convinced them to take the bodies back home. The administration arranged for a tractor, but the terrain was difficult and it left them in between. And then began a two-hour-long journey to carry the bodies on shoulders.

Two bodies, father and son Joga and Badru, were kept on the same logs and cremated together. “It’s not unusual among tribals. When a person loves someone a lot, we cremate together,” said a tribal.

– See more at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/carrying-bodies-tribal-women-lead-protests-against-cops/1118025/0#sthash.5gBvcRXp.dpuf

 

Chhattisgarh – Bastar tribals demand CBI probe #indigenous


Rashmi Drolia, TNN May 9, 2013

RAIPUR: Enraged tribals of Maoist hotbed Narayanpur district in tribal Bastar region of Chhattisgarh are demanding a CBI probe into the alleged police encounter of two villagers in Maronaar village near ChoteDongar on April 30.

A joint team of COBRA battalion, CRPF and district force claimed to have gunned down Maoist cadres of Duala Dalam Phool Singh and Jai Singh. Since then police have been facing severe protest from 84 villages in the vicinity against the killing.

Talking to TOI, Panniram Wadde, president of tribal Gond community in Bastar said, “On the night of April 30, town inspector Vijay Chelak and sun-divisional officer of police B N Baghel dragged three brothers of the family to the police station and after brief interrogation, police relieved Ram Singh, keeping Jai Singh and Phool Singh in the custody. Next morning their mutilated body was found in the jungles of Maronaar, few kilometre from the police station. Aged between 30 and 35 years, both the villagers were involved in farming.”

Wadde said, the police had also claimed to have found four muzzle loading guns, one USA made pistol, one country-made pistol, couple of grenades and tiffin bombs, detonators and Naxal literature in their camps, but the fact was that they were dragged empty-handed from their homes. Panniram alleged that the police had fabricated the encounter by beating them and made them wear Maoists uniforms, killing them in the forests.

More than 10,000 agitated villagers from 84 nearby villages gheraod the police station in protest demanding CBI probe in the case. “Not only did the police kill them, they also buried both the bodies in the same ditch after conducting post mortem,” Panniram said adding that the body was not handed over to the family.

Comrade Niti, commander south Bastar CPI (Maoist) called up newsmen at midnight, to point out that it was not the first time that police victimized innocent villagers. “When they fail to trace Maoists they assault villagers and kill them fabricating the incident as an encounter. This time too the police have killed two innocents. CPI (Maoist) strongly condemns the incident,” she said.

In another incident, a member of Gond community, Pramod Potai, said that more than 30 villagers of Kukrajor region, 10 km from Narayanpur, were admitted to a hospital after being brutally beaten up by the police. “The CRPF base camp was attacked by Maoists on the intervening night of Tuesday opening firing at policemen. Though there were no casualties, soon after the incident police came to the village thrashing them for not passing them information about planned firing,” said Potai. Condition of five villagers is said to be critical.

 

 

An open letter: Adivasis need speedy and impartial justice


 

May 6, 2013, TNN

To the Government of India, Members of the Judiciary, and All Citizens,

One of the most disastrous consequences of the strife in the tribal areas of central India is that thousands of adivasi men and women remain imprisoned as under-trials, often many years after being arrested, accused of ‘Naxalite/ Maoist’ offences.

The facts speak for themselves.

In Chhattisgarh, over two thousand adivasis are currently in jail, charged with ‘Naxalite/Maoist’ offences. Many have been imprisoned for over two years without trial. In Jharkhand, an even larger number of adivasis, possibly in excess of five thousand, remain imprisoned as under-trials. The situation is similar in many other states of central and eastern India currently affected by armed conflict between the government and adivasi-linked militant movements, namely Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal. The adivasi undertrial population may run into thousands in each of the states. Assessing the true scale of the problem is inherently difficult, given that none of the police or jail administrations are making comprehensive figures public, even after RTI requests have been filed by concerned citizens. This opacity adds to the injustice.

In each of these states, the adivasi under-trials, and particularly those arrested under special security statutes, face grave common handicaps that obstruct their Constitutional right to a fair, speedy trial, to justice.

One, language barriers. The vast majority of adivasi under-trials speak only adivasi languages, such as Gondi and Halbi. However, few if any courts have official interpreters/translators. This leaves the adivasis unable to communicate directly with the Officers of the Court or otherwise effectively make their case.

Two, the failure, in case after case, for evidentiary material, such as captured arms or explosives, to be promptly submitted in court by the security forces when they first produce the detainees before the Magistrate, as the Magistrate can statutorily direct the security forces to do when they level such serious charges. In the absence of prima facie proof, the grave risk of injustice being done to innocent adivasis is self-evident.

Three, procedural barriers relating to ‘Naxalite/Maoist’ and other security offences. Being charged with such offences, the under-trials are not produced in the courts for lengthy periods. Owing to this, the trial does not proceed for years together.

Four, other procedural barriers. Since under-trials charged with ‘Naxalite/Maoist’ offences are only held in Central Jails, many of them of them are transferred to jails at a great distance from their homes and families. In Chhattisgarh, for instance, nearly one hundred adivasi under-trials from Bastar have been transferred to Durg or Raipur Central Jails, a distance of over 300 kilometers. The great distance, coupled with the poverty of most adivasis, means that families are unable to regularly visit them or provide them with vital emotional support.

Five, the lack of proper legal defence. Lawyers who visit ‘Naxal/Maoist’ under-trials in Chhattisgarh are photographed by the authorities and their information listed in a separate register, making lawyers reluctant to visit their clients. In any event, many of the adivasi under-trials are dependent on legal-aid lawyers who rarely go to meet the client or seek instructions regarding the case. Often lawyers are careless in their conduct of cases and are amenable to pressures from the police or prosecution.

In addition to the humanitarian imperative, the prolonged failure to provide speedy and impartial justice to these thousands of adivasi under-trials is damaging the prospects for peace in India’s heartland – by leading adivasis to feel that the Indian government does not treat them as full citizens and by intensifying their generalised sense of alienation. It is telling that in the widely publicised “Collector abduction” incidents of Chhattisgarh and Odisha, one of the major demands raised by the insurgents was speedy and fair trial for these thousands of jailed adivasis, accused of being Naxalites/Maoists. Yet, virtually none of the efforts belatedly agreed to by the state governments – such as the ‘High-powered Committee for review of the cases of Adivasiundertrials in Chhattisgarh’, set up in mid-2012 under the aegis of Nirmala Buch, the former top IAS officer – have come to fruition or been acted on to any degree by the concerned governments.

More than anything else, the failure to ensure justice for the adivasis is a grave blot on India’s human rights record. Not only are we as a nation committed to democracy and human rights, but our Constitution provides extensive safeguards and rights to the adivasis that are being violated by not ensuring fair and speedy trials for these thousands of adivasi under-trials.

On every count – whether humanitarian or strategic – it is imperative that this prolonged failure to assure our country’s adivasis of speedy, impartial justice be set right immediately.

Justice is in everyone’s interest.

Hence, we the undersigned, a large group of concerned Indians – including adivasi leaders, jurists and lawyers, and public intellectuals – urge the Union Government, the concerned State Governments, and the Supreme Court to undertake to appoint a special Commission of eminent jurists to oversee dedicated fast-track courts that hear these cases speedily and impartially.

Sincerely,

VR Krishna IyerMahasweta DeviSwami AgniveshNandita Das, Nitin Desai, GN Devy, Jean Dreze, Gladson Dungdung, Anand Grover, Ramachandra GuhaGirish Karnad, Manish Kunjam, Harsh Mander, Vinod Mehta, Arvind Netam, Rajinder Sachar, BD Sharma, Nandini Sundar, Father Stan Swamy, Tarun Tejpal, Mukti Prakash Tirkey.

 

 

#Chhattisgarh- Maoists threaten Judges in Bastar


These pamphlets released by the CPI (Maoists) calls for the celebration of adhikar saptah (rights week) for all political prisoners from 23 to 29 March

March 21, 2013

The pamphlet by CPI Maoists that was confiscated by the police in Bastar.

For the first time in three decades, the judiciary has been targeted by the Maoists in Bastar. The Maoists have been issuing warnings to politicians and the police but this time they have warned the judges. Mayank Srivastava, SP Bastar, tells TEHELKA that pamphlets with the warnings were found on the passenger train running from Kurandul toVishakhapatnam. On Wednesday morning some pamphlets were also found along the railway tracks at Bodenar village, between Kaklur and Kavadgaon railway stations, under the Kodenar police station, Bastar. These pamphlets were seen by the keyman while inspecting the tracks in the morning, he later reported this at the railway station. The pamphlets were confiscated by the RPF and given to the police. Four pamphlets were also stuck inside the train. These pamphlets released by the CPI (Maoists) calls for the celebration of adhikar saptah (rights week) for all political prisoners from 23 to 29 March. The pamphlets said that the people’s court was warning the anti people judges. The Maoists in jails should be declared as political prisoners and released unconditionally. It warned that adivasis and revolutionaries should not be given harsh punishments on the basis of false and police testimony. It also warned the jail authorities from mistreating the prisoners.

 

#India- Adivasis / Tribals march for autonomy- #Indigenous


The water, forest and land rights of the Adivasis and a permanent solution to the continuing violence in the region are the major issues behind the 300-kilometer foot march

Anil Mishra, Tehelka

March 13, 2013

Public meeting of the Adivasi Mahasabha

In the afternoon heat, thousands of Adivasis holding red flags are leading a foot march in the naxal dominated areas of Bastar. It is alleged that the constitutional system has collapsed, the government is not ready to accept the Supreme Court’s orders, there is violation of the Fifth Schedule and the PESA Act, the government along with private companies wants to rob the natural resources of this region and that the very existence of the Adivasis is in danger. To tackle this situation, it is important to notify Bastar as an autonomous district under the Sixth Schedule of the constitution. Intellectuals from around the world are supporting this demand of the Adivasis. A glimpse of this support was seen on 9th March in Dantewada, when Professor Nandini Sunder, High Court lawyer Sudha Bharapdwaj, Smiti Sharma, Neelabh Dubey, six research scholars from Azim Premji University, Shahana Mangesh from National Law University Bengaluru, members of the Chhattisgarh Bachao Andolan, SKMS general secretary Rajesh Sandhu and Professor Justin Podar from York University in Canada, members of Chhattisgarh Swabhiman Manch and around two dozen representatives from various organisations from around the world reached there.

The foot march which started under the banner of the CPI and the Adivasi Mahasabha, started in Konta on 1st March and will end on 15th March in Jagdalpur. Adivasis from remote areas are coming to take part in the march organised under the leadership of Manish Kunjum, former MLA of the CPI and National President of the Adivasi Mahasabha. The water, forest and land rights of the Adivasis and a permanent solution to the continuing violence in the region are the major issues behind this 300-kilometer foot march, although the list of demands is quite long. These include demands for cancellation of all the MOUs signed with the mining and power companies in Bastar, to immediately stop the work on the Polavaram, Bodhghat and Telavarti power projects, removal of the Central Security Forces from Bastar and removal of the Army training centre, judicial enquiry into the cases of massacre including the one at Sarkeguda and the filing of FIR’s against the accused. There is also an emphasis on demands to bring NDMC headquarters to Bastar, to stop non – Adivasis from occupying Adivasi land, to stop forced acquisition of village land for police line and helipad and to enable the committee, formed after the release of the Sukma Collector, for the release of thousands of innocent Adivasis from jail.

On 9th March, sociologist Nandini Sunder, speaking before thousands of Adivasis, accused the state government of violating the orders of the Supreme Court. She said that on Salwa Judum the Supreme Court had ordered that the recruitment of the SPO’s be cancelled and their guns taken back but the government acted in an opposite manner. The SPO’s were made a part of the auxiliary force, their salaries were increased and they were given more advanced weapons. The Supreme Court had also ordered for FIR’s to be registered in cases of violence during Salwa Judum, rehabilitation of the villagers, and compensation for Adivasis affected by the violence but the government has not followed any of its orders. The forces were not removed from the schools and the government continued to lie before the Supreme Court in this case. Now we have filed a case of contempt of court but the state government has been successful in delaying the matter on some pretext or the other. She said that according to the census figures it is clear that the population of the Adivasis is decreasing in Dantewada, Bijapur and Sarguja. Adivasis are being killed, people are being forced to migrate and those who stayed back in the villages are so petrified that they scared to even raise a family. The women have fought bravely in Bastar but the government is with the rapists. Only recently three girls who were raped during the Salwa Judum were forced to take back the case under the pressure of the police. The constitutional system has collapsed here. The Sixth Schedule is the only alternative.

Former Central Minister Arvind Netam and general secretary of the CPI, Atul Anjaan, also supported the demands of the Adivasis in the gathering.

In a conversation with TEHELKA, Manish Kunjam, President of the Adivasi Mahasabha and leader of the foot march, said that this is a fight for the rights of the Adivasis and they would achieve it. Given below are some excerpts from the conversation.

What would you achieve from this foot march?

We are fighting for the water, forest and land rights of the Adivasis. We stopped Tata from coming to Bastar, fought against ESSAR. We put a stop to Salwa Judum by leading a struggle against them. The question is, how long would we have to fight? Now we need permanent solutions to the problems. To have a rule of law we need the Sixth Schedule in Bastar.

But the Fifth Schedule is already there, so why do we need the Sixth Schedule?

The Fifth Schedule is not being implemented. In scheduled areas notified under the Fifth Schedule (where the tribals are entitled to special rights to the land as well as forests and mineral resources) the land of the Adivasis are being acquired for private companies, without the Gram Sabha’s permission. The national as well as international companies are interested in the natural resources of Bastar and the government is not even ready to accept the orders of the Supreme Court. The constitutional system has collapsed over here; therefore autonomy is the only solution.

What is the guarantee of the Sixth Schedule’s compliance?

For years, the Adivasi’s have tolerated exploitation and cruelty. Now we want autonomy. If there is autonomy, the Adivasis will be able to take their own decisions. The PESA Act would be implemented and the Adivasis would have rights over their water, forests and land. This is also necessary to tackle the violence and armed revolution in Bastar.

But the non-Adivasis of Bastar remain apprehensive about the Sixth Schedule.

All these years the Adivasis have not demanded anything, now they want autonomy to save their land, art, culture and their very existence. What is wrong in this? This would not harm the non – Adivasis of Bastar. The educated people should be better informed about the Sixth Schedule.

It is alleged that the state government is not following the orders of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court orders on Salwa Judum are not being implemented. The Judum movement was started by the Center and the state government, therefore who would implement the orders that came against it. Both the national as well as international companies are coming to rob Bastar. All this is a conspiracy to give them the Adivasi land.

 

#India- #Chhattsigarh pays Kareena Kapoor 1.40 crore, while 1 lakh children suffer malnutrition in the state


While over  over 1 lakh children are suffering malnutrition in Bastar,thE tribal region of chhattisgarh, while 80 prisoners including women are HIV positive in chhattisgarh, for more than a year Soni Sori a tribal teacher has been tortured, sexually assaulted, denied basic  HUMAN rights in chhattisgarh, and NCW says Soni Sori needs psychological counselling or she might die,  The Chhattisgarh government admitted on Thursday that it paid a whopping sum of Rs 1.40 crore to Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor for her performance in November at the state’s anniversary function.

SONISORICOLLAGE

In a written reply to Congress member Mohammed Akbar in the state assembly, Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Brijmohan Agrawal, who holds the tourism and culture portfolios as well, said that 245 artistes performed during the weeklong (November 1-7) state foundation anniversary – Rajayotasava 2012- celebrations held in various districts and the government paid over Rs 5 crore to them.

The total expenditure as honorarium to 245 artistes, that included 42 artistes from outside the state, during Rajayotasava 2012 was Rs 5,21,22,500, the minister said. He also listed details of per person honorarium paid out by the government, with Kareena Kapoor topping the list at Rs 1,40,71,000. Kareena performed at main Rajayotasava venue at Naya Raipur on November 1 and her show was hardly for eight minutes.

The government also paid heavy amount to other artistes such as Sonu Nigam (Rs 36,50,000), Sunidhi Chauhan (Rs 32,00,000), Dia Mirza (Rs 25,00,000), Himesh Reshamia (Rs 24,00,000) and Pankaj Udhas (Rs 90,000).

The minister also informed the house that his department spent Rs 54,62,461 on inviting the artistes and their travel expenditure while the bill for artistes’ lodging and food was put at Rs 11,67,956.

#India- Over 1 lakh children malnourished in Bastar #RIP #Indiashining


 

Raipur, Dec 12 – The Chhattisgarh Government today admitted that over 1 lakh children are suffering from malnutrition in the tribal-dominated Bastar region.

In a written reply to a question of Kuldeep Singh Juneja (Congress) in the Legislative Assembly, Women and Child Development Minister Lata Usendi said 1,15,093 children are suffering from malnutrition in Bastar division comprising seven districts as of December 2012.

Of these, 31,034 children are severely malnourished, while 84,059 fall in the category of average malnutrition, she said.

The highest number of malnourished kids are in Bastar district (35,034), followed by Kanker (27,482), Kondagaon (17,308), Dantewada (10,871), Bijapur (10,083), Sukma (8,811) and Narayanpur (5,504), Usendi said.

The Minister, however, denied any death due to malnutrition from 2008 till now in the Naxal-affected region in Central Chhattisgarh. PTI

 

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