#India – The Brechtian choice in the Red Corridor


Photo: Shailendra Pandey

 

Photo: Shailendra Pandey

It was a Sunday morning and Om Shanti Om was playing on television. For a tiny shack, the TV was too big – a hideously odd addition. Apart from an old man and two kids sleeping on the floor, a young man was having brunch watching TV. Travelling in a remote village in the Kalimella block of Malkangiri district in Odisha, I was meeting someone who could speak Hindi. “Chhattisgarh se hai…” he said responding to my surprised look. I had by then visited enough Adivasi villages in the block to believe that Hindi was non-existent here. As it turned out, 25-year-old Ranga, an adivasi teacher from a village in Dornapal, Chhattisgarh was in Kalimella, visiting his wife and kid as the summer vacation allowed him to.

Our conversation was supposed to be about mundane subjects related to village development. What do you do about circumstances though?

Even as we were talking about development in the village, Ranga got a call from his cousin in Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh giving him every detail of the Maoist attack that had taken place the previous evening. Mahindra Karma had been killed. So were Nand Kumar Patel and 28 others. Once the conversation was over, Ranga came back inside to fill me with details. This 25-year-old teacher (who teaches class four students) evidently had enough exposure to the media to know what interests journalists. He began with all the details of the incident as was told to him. I listened with equal interest. He ended it with, “Karma ji nahi rahe. Diggaj neta the.” Ranga was an admirer of Mahendra Karma, the founder of Salwa Judum.

The conversation that followed, has kept me thinking till now.

Me: Karma ji diggaj neta the? (Was Karma a tall leader?)

Ranga: Haan. Judum ke chalte bohut accha kaam kiya unhone. Judum ne shanti laaya… (Yes. He did a lot of good work by creating Salwa Judum. Judum brought a lot of peace in our area)

Me: Accha? Toh aap Judum ke samarthak hai? (So, are you a supporter of Judam?)

Ranga: Naxali bohut tang karte the gaon walon ko. Zameen cheen ke baant dete the… Agar mera chota sa zameen hai toh aap usse kaise cheen sakte ho? Dhaan bhi le jaate the aur baant dete the… (The naxals used to trouble villagers. They would snatch our land and redistribute it. How can you snatch the small plot of my land? They would also take away the grains and redistribute it…)

Me: Lekhin Judum ne toh bohut saare gaon jalaye… Balatkaar kiya mahilaon par… (But Judum also burnt a lot of villages… They also raped a lot of women)

Ranga: Tension mein har koi hinsa karta hai… Aap aise socho. Agar mere friend ko kal koi marega, toh main kisko support karoonga? (Everyone indulges in violence when they’re in “tension”. Think of it like this, if my friend is going to be killed by someone, who will I support?)

I smiled and chose not to probe him further. He too smiled. No, he did not bear a look of satisfaction of having won an argument. His tone too did not have an assertiveness that you would find in people who really want to prove something to you. Here was someone’s lived reality that needed no assertion or crafty presentation. Mere narration carries through the message.

This conversation had begun to bother me, doubting my ability to understand and place politics in historically identified categories. A friend came very close to the answer. “It is the Brechtian choice. This one has made the choice. Survival comes first. Everything else comes later,” said the friend.

‘The Brechtian choice’, well, is something like this. As Eric Bentley observed in his review of Mother Courage and Her Children by Bertolt Brecht: “What is the philosophy of this philosopher? Reduced to a single proposition, it is that if you concede defeat on the larger issue, you can achieve some nice victories in smaller ways. The larger issue is whether the world can be changed. It can’t. But brandy is still drunk, and can be sold. One can survive, and one can help one’s children to survive by teaching each to make appropriate use of the qualities God gave him.”

But then, in Malkangiri district itself, for every Ranga, I could find ten young men who would support the Naxals. In Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand, I could easily find a hundred. They have made their choices too. Their friends had been /are being/will be killed by SPOs, policemen and the security forces. These would often be extra-judicial murders. The police torture them. The courts speak a language there is absolutely no way they can understand. Hell, I have been to villages where young men and women do not know when Independence Day is, who the Prime Minister is or for that matter, what their country is. But these were young men/women who support the anna log (naxals, as referred to in Odisha) because the Forest Department and police are bad news.

* * * *

From far away, I think it’s too bad Brecht never wrote ‘An instruction for the illegal adivasi’.

Here’s Brecht’s An instruction for the illegal agent

Part from your comrades at the station
Enter the city in the morning with your jacket buttoned up
Look for a room, and when your comrade knocks:
Do not, o do not open the door
But
Cover your tracks!

If you meet your parents in Hamburg or elsewhere
Pass them like strangers, turn the corner, don’t recognize them
Pull the hat they gave you over your face, and
Do not, o do not show your face
But
Cover your tracks!

Eat the meat that’s there. Don’t stint yourself.
Go into any house when it rains and sit on any chair that is in it
But don’t sit long. And don’t forget your hat.
I tell you:
Cover your tracks!

Whatever you say, don’t say it twice
If you find your ideas in anyone else, disown them.
The man who hasn’t signed anything, who has left no picture
Who was not there, who said nothing:
How can they catch him?
Cover your tracks!

See when you come to think of dying
That no gravestone stands and betrays where you lie
With a clear inscription to denounce you
And the year of your death to give you away.
Once again:
Cover your tracks!
(That is what they taught me.)

 Author- G Vishnu has worked as a cameraman and assistant script-writer on two documentary films on tribal issues with Shri Prakash, a prominent film-maker in Jharkhand. He has reported on matters like Naxal-State conflict and politics as is seen in New Delhi. He has been a part of TEHELKA’s investigations team since August 2011. He finished his post-graduation in Communication from Manipal University in 2009.

 

#India – Violence of the Oppressed


Vol – XLVIII No. 23, June 08, 2013

The chorus of righteous indignation against Maoist violence has made a comeback. The commercial media has returned to baying for the blood of the “left-wing extremists”. “Why are human rights groups not condemning the terror the Maoists unleashed?” screamed one of the TV news anchors. “Why has the government lost track of the fight against Maoist terror?” yelled another. In the safety of their studios, the big guns on TV have been booming! They cannot stomach a successful ambush by the Maoist guerrillas. “This is a major setback for Operation Green Hunt (OGH)” (the anti-Maoist counter-insurgency campaign). “Shouldn’t OGH be overhauled and intensified?” or better still, “shouldn’t the Army be deployed on the frontlines in Bastar?” Rather than be swayed by such hawks, maybe we should first try to put what has happened in its proper context and then weigh it all up.

The ambush on 25 May by Maoist guerrillas of a convoy of Congress Party leaders of Chhattisgarh with their retinue and the Z-plus and other category of armed security personnel has shocked the state apparatus in Raipur and New Delhi. The targets of the attack were the chief of the Congress Party in the province and a former home minister of the state, Nand Kumar Patel, and the founder of the state-financed and armed private vigilante force, Salwa Judum (SJ), Mahendra Karma, and the assassinations were on the dot, for the state’s security personnel accompanying the convoy were no match for the guerrillas in the two-hour long battle. The convoy was returning from a Parivartan Yatra (march for change) rally in Sukma in southern Chhattisgarh in the Bastar region and the Maoists not only knew that Karma and Patel were in the convoy, but even the route that it was to take.

The Congress now seems bent on intensifying OGH with the despatch of additional central paramilitary forces. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief minister of the state has however suggested that the union government go in for talks with the Maoists. It may be noted that the latter have always been open to negotiations, even as they have insisted that they will not give up on the use of force. Nevertheless, with the BJP fiddling to discover what may serve its politics of one-upmanship, the Congress must surely be pleased with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) politburo’s statement demanding “firm action” to put an end to “these Maoists [sic] depredations” and urging “all democratic forces to fight the politics of violence by the Maoists”.

We refuse to join this chorus of righteous indignation against Maoist violence. Why? The credentials of these so-called anti-terrorists are well known – in the eyes of the victims, whether ordinary adivasis in southern Chhattisgarh or Muslims in Gujarat, they stand convicted of terrorism on a scale that constitutes “crimes against humanity”. They have no moral right to talk about democratic values. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government sanctioned the “security-related expenditure” that funded the SJ. The state BJP government turned the other way when the funds for internally displaced person camps went into the personal coffers of SJ leaders. And, the mining companies contracted with the SJ warlords for “protection and ‘ground-clearing’ services”. The SJ which Karma led was “a land and power grab masquerading as a local uprising”, as
Jason Miklian, writing in the journal, Dialectical Anthropology (33, 2009, p 456), put it.

In Dantewada, Bastar and Bijapur districts in Chhattisgarh, in the context of large-scale acquisition of land by corporations in what is a mineral-rich region, entire villages were evacuated and villagers forcibly herded into camps, from which those who escaped were branded Maoists and hunted down. Indeed, SJ, which organised the evacuation and forced herding “was created and encouraged by the [state] government and supported with the fire power and organisation of the central forces”. No, this quote is not from a report of one of the country’s civil liberties and democratic rights’ organisations, but taken from chapter 4 of a 2009 draft report authored by Sub-Group IV of the Committee on State Agrarian Relations and Unfinished Task of Land Reforms, set up by the Ministry of Rural Development, New Delhi. Without mincing words, this report referred to “the biggest grab of tribal land after Columbus” in the making as being initially “scripted by Tata Steel and Essar Steel who want seven villages or there­abouts each to mine the richest lode of iron ore available in India”.

The period from June 2005 for about eight months witnessed the depredations of the SJ backed by the state’s security forces – the murders of hundreds of ordinary Gondi peasants, the razing of hundreds of villages and the forcible herding of people into camps, the sexual atrocities against women, vast stretches of cultivable land lying fallow, the total disruption of the collection of minor forest produce, lack of access to the weekly haats (local markets), the schools turned into police camps, the complete trampling upon of the rights of people. It was only when the Maoists raised a Bhumkal militia and their People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army launched a series of “tactical counter-offensive campaigns” that the Indian state began to rethink its counter-insurgency tactics. It then launched OGH in September 2009, which has since been stepped up from January this year, the last major incident in Edesmeta village on the night of 17 May in Bijapur district where personnel of the Commando Battalion for Resolute Action of the Central Reserve Police Force fired unilaterally and indiscriminately, killing eight ordinary adivasis, including four minors, none of whom were Maoists.

Where was the chorus of righteous indignation against Maoist violence when SJ was committing crimes against humanity and when OGH was (and is) doing the same? We know what decent political behaviour is, and certainly a lot better than the leaders of this chorus. But we owe it to ourselves to analyse what happened, but on our terms and for our purposes. Since the information at hand is, as yet, very imperfect, all we can do at this point in time is to pose a few questions. In the context and circumstances we have outlined, and given the fact that the Constitution and the law have failed to bring justice to the victims, wasn’t the violence of the oppressed, led by the Maoists, a necessity? Didn’t it serve the cause of justice? Wasn’t it morally justified? Hadn’t the oppressed been left with no other way but to challenge the violence that reproduces and maintains their oppression? But what about the dehumanising aspects of the violence of the oppressed? Shouldn’t the revolutionaries specify certain limiting conditions for its deployment, like the Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and Protocol II relating to non-international armed conflict? Cruelty and brutality must never be a part of the means of revolution.

The Maoist guerrilla ambush on 25 May is a piece of the larger phenomenon of the violence of the oppressed, which is always preceded and provoked by the violence of the oppressors.

 

Chhattisgarh- What will Bastar’s children reap from this bloody war of binaries?


SANJAY RAWAT
No kind conflict Tribal kids have no escape from the red war
GROUND ZERO
An Ill Sowing Festival
What will Bastar’s children reap from this bloody war of binaries?
SUPRIYA SHARMA, in Outlook

A few hundred metres short of where the Maoists would launch an attack that would propel them as far as the pages of the New York Times, a young adivasi boy, not more than ten years old, stood in the dull afternoon heat, facing perhaps the biggest dilemma of his life. He knew what lay ahead on the road. He possibly struggled with the burden of what to do about it for a couple of moments before he flagged down a motorcyclist. “All he said was ‘aage kuch hai’,” recounts Om Prakash Singh, a 42-year-old businessman and Congress party worker who was racing ahead of a convoy of party leaders on his motorcycle when he noticed the boy and slowed down to hear him out.

Singh ignored the boy’s words of caution. A few minutes later, he heard an explosion ring through Darbha Ghat. While Singh had safely crossed the bend where 30 kg of ammonium nitrate laid buried, the convoy of about 25 cars had not. An explosion heaved the road. What followed was a bloodbath its survivors are not likely to forget.

But what about that boy? He would remain unknown and unheard. And it is best that way. For he had violated the rule of self-preservation that Bastar’s adivasis drill into their young as early as they learn to speak: see everything, but stay mum.

Last year, when I returned to Chhattisgarh after a break of eight months, I was told things were looking up in Bastar. The official figure of lives lost in the Maoist insurgency had plunged to 107—the lowest in eight years. The state had lost the top spot in the casualty table to Jharkhand. Beyond the statistics, I looked around for signs of change. A construction boom was under way in the district headquarters. Bijapur had a swimming pool. Dantewada had a new cricket ground with grass as green as the lawns in Lutyen’s Delhi. People in the towns were breathing easy. Even the villages seemed somewhat better off. At least the ones along the highways.

Then I ventured off the roads and spent a few days inside the large expanse of forests where adivasis live to the sun, the seasons and the rules of the Janatana Sarkar. Here, in the second week of March, the news that an encounter had taken place in Kanchal, a village deep south, just 25 km short of Andhra Pradesh, floated to the village where I was staying. Fear had travelled like radiation, distorting the face of a young boy—let’s call him Joga—who had made plans that morning to take his cows down to sell at a border market. Now, it was no longer wise to go, he surmised. The security forces could still be around. He could be caught, beaten, taken away. At 16, Joga had internalised the twisted logic of the conflict: You may have to pay for what you have not done.

The Greyhounds, Andhra’s elite anti-Naxal force, had stormed Kanchal in the early hours of morning. They had wanted to bust a group of Maoists camping near the river. The Maoists escaped. But a village woman, Kunjam Deve, who was filling a vessel of water, fell to the bullets. Three days after her death, I found Deve’s daughter Bhime, aged 17, standing by the river bed, crying her heart out.

A little tribal boy, all of 10 years, had warned a motorcycle-borne Congress worker of the danger ahead. He wasn’t heard. Or understood.

The summer grew blistering inside the Maoist territory. On April 16, the Greyhounds came further inside Chhattisgarh and killed nine Maoists, including a senior leader, in Puvarti village. A month later, on the night of May 17, in Edesmetta village, men, women and children gathered to cajole the village spirits to send new life their way—the village was celebrating Beeja Pandum, the seed festival marking the beginning of the sowing season—but instead, CRPF jawans turned up to deliver death. Eight villagers died in firing by the CRPF. Three were children.

Regardless of who was killed, the pertinent fact, from the point of view of the Maoists, was that the security forces were frequently entering their terrain, carrying out attacks and outrages, and going away unchallenged and unharmed. “Hatyare sarkari shastra balon par jawabi hamla kar shaheedon ka khoon ka badla lenge (We will avenge the death of our martyrs at the hands of the murderous government security forces),” said the Maoists’ note on the Puvarti encounter. At the bottom of the page, printed in fine red, were thumbnail pictures of the Maoist guerrillas who had perished. How long before a publication rolls off the Maoist press featuring dead government soldiers, I thought.


Shot at CRPF firing killed 3 kids in Edesmetta. This boy survived. (Photograph by Supriya Sharma)

With the clarity of hindsight, one can argue it is not surprising that the bloodied bodies of Mahendra Karma and Nand Kumar Patel and not dead soldiers would become the face of a Maoist victory pamphlet. Since the humiliating losses of 2010, inflicted by the Maoists in a mine attack and ambush, the CRPF has come a long way. It is better equipped and trained. It has more camps and boots on the ground. For the Maoists, under pressure to deliver a victory, it was easier to blow up a political convoy than ambush a security patrol. Except, by doing so, they have ensured that when children living in their area are gunned down by the CRPF, no one would care.

Three days before he found himself crouching in a ditch, ducking the spray of bullets coming from the automatic weapons of young adivasi guerrillas, Congress MLA Kavasi Lakhma had climbed a hill to reach Edesmetta, to condemn the killing of the three children and five others and to ask for the CRPF soldiers to be punished. A year ago, Lakhma had his party boss Nand Kumar Patel by his side when they made a similar demand in Sarkeguda, the village where the CRPF troops had shot dead 17 people, including children.

Tasked with breathing life into a comatose Congress when he took over as the state chief in 2011, the mild-mannered Patel had first shown mettle when he had taken on the state government in March that year over a police rampage in Dantewada. The police had burnt homes and granaries in three villages—not for the first time. But for the first time perhaps, the state Congress raised a ruckus. Patel led a delegation to the villages, held up the state assembly for days, and kept the story alive in Chhattisgarh’s newspapers, otherwise not keen to report police violence. The Congress’s repeated attacks ensured that this year, with elections coming up, the Raman Singh government took no chances and swiftly ann­ounced Rs 5 lakh in compensation for the Edesmetta victims. But with dead bodies of Congressmen landing up in faraway districts, there is no opposition left for a future protest.

In the Times of India office in Raipur where I worked, I was the sole journalist. The rest of my office colleagues were young men and women employed in the paper’s marketing department. Some of them were freshly out of college. Born and raised in the city, they had travelled to Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta, Vishakapatnam, but not to Bastar. They sourced bright ads of Bastar tourism but saw it as an area of darkness. It filled them with vague fears. Those fears have intensified this week. The landmine explosion has opened up a bigger chasm between the youth of Raipur and the youth of Bastar.

The Maoists fear that TV will turn the minds of villagers towards consumerism. “Dimaag gol gol ghoom jayega,” said rebel leader.

And yet, never before has the gap been narrower. For the first time, a generation of adivasi children, living and studying in ashramshalas, the residential schools run by the government, is being raised on more than just stale textbook narratives. Along with mid-day meals, satellite TV has been made compulsory in school. Already, the adivasi children and youth have taken to cricket with a vengeance. Young men shop for jeans and sneakers and crave for mobiles and motorcycles. They still love to lock their arms and sway while singing Gondi songs lustily. But at a school annual day I attended in January, they reserved their greatest enthusiasm for the ‘taara rara’ of Daler Mehndi.

Urban radicals may believe revolutionary fire cannot be doused by stoking material aspiration through a culture of consumption. But the Maoists are more pragmatic. The party does not want electricity in its villages, because with electricity would come TV, and by watching TV “logon ka dimaag gol gol ghoom jayega”, as a Maoist commander told me. It is not surprising then that in the football tournament it organised in February, the CRPF gave out solar-powered TV sets with satellite dishes even to teams that lost.

The state’s push to woo the young is unmistakable. It did not begin as coherent policy but as the drive of a young collector who “wanted to do something big”. When he arrived in Dantewada in 2011 at the age of 29, O.P. Choudhary wasted no time in drawing up an ambitious plan to spend Rs 100 crore on building an education city with schools, hostels and polytechnics. While the campus came up, he built a library, a plush auditorium, a cricket ground in the district headquarters. It was no less than a blitzkrieg. Every week, buses brought children from the village ashramshalas to watch movies and play games. And those who had dropped out of school began showing up at a newly created livelihood college to train the in industrial stitching, plumbing, welding, computers, hospitality. When I visited the college in January, a young boy exp­ertly folded a table napkin five times and gingerly stuck it in a glass, looking pleased with his newfound skill.

But the state cannot create opportunities for all, and even if it could, not everybody would want to take them. Many children who come to study in the state’s ashramshalas eventually want to go back to their villages in the Maoist territory. Their life is inextricably linked to family and community. And after three decades, the rebels are part of the clan. Not many young people would easily break rank. Not for an outside world that has much to offer but not respect.

Two days after the attack, when the clamour for sending new troops to Bastar reached a feverish pitch in TV studios, the CRPF quietly began its long-planned rally to hire adivasi youth. Some 2,000 constables were to be recruited, 280 from each district of Bastar. But over three days, only 46 turned up in Sukma; Dantewada fared better with 233, but only half of them were adivasi. Some would argue it was because of the Maoist attack. But I wondered if it would have been any different at any other time. Between state and rebel, Bastar’s youth have no simple choice; it’s complicated by everything that complicates the lives of young people elsewhere—family, love, ambition, personality. But the choice they don’t seem to have—not now, not unless they leave Bastar—is between war and peace.

In his ten years, the boy who stood on the highway has lived through the bloodiest years of Bastar. It seems unlikely peace would come his way before adulthood.


(Former NDTV reporter Supriya Sharma reported for the Times of India from Chhattisgarh for two years.)

 

Empower tribals or it will get worse: Ex-DG, BSF


Commissioned in the Indian Police Service in 1965, EN Rammohan holds wide-ranging experience of fighting insurgency in Assam as well as Nagaland as the head of the Border Security Force (BSF) in a long career. In an interview with Tehelka Editor-at-Large Ajit Sahi, he suggests it would be counterproductive to escalate the war against the Maoists in Chhattisgarh as a reaction to the massacre by the rebels of 27 people, most of them leaders and workers of the Congress party, on 25 May 2013
Ajit Sahi

Ajit Sahi

May 29,2013e

EDITED EXCERPTS FROM THE INTERVIEW

Photo: NaveeshPhoto: Naveesh

The Maoists have claimed that they killed Congress leaders Mahendra Karma and Nand Kumar Patel in  on Saturday as a retaliation for the Salwa Judum and Operation Green Hunt. What do you have to say to that?

The answer must be given in the context of the non-application of the Fifth Schedule  of the Constitution. As per the Constitiution, the Scheduled Areas of the country are to be ruled by the Governor by appointing a Tribes Advisory Council which will decide what is done with the area and how it is to be administered.This Tribes Advisory Council has never been constituted by any governor. The chief minister has no role in the administration of the tribal areas and nor does the forest minister. The Tribes Advisory Council will decide whether the area must be given for mining or not. If you give the tribals this power, they will administer the area. If they want to extract minerals, they will have a liaison with the company and they will file an agreement and the company will take out the ore and the Panchayat will get the money.

What does this have to do with what the Maoists have done?

The advasi does not have this right. The chief minister of the state signs an agreement with the company and they evict tribals from the area. Is it not illegal and unlawful?

Are you saying that denial of rights to the land is fuelling the Maoist insurgency?

Obviously. The tribals are helpless. They have been evicted from hundreds of acres of land. The Maoists say that the government is illegal and unlawful. We will have to fight them.

Why has counterinsurgency been successful in the North-East but failed in Chhattisgarh?

the insurgency has not been successful in the North-East. First, we must ask why are civilians taking up the gun? it is because the government has been illegal and unlawful. If you remove the cause of insurgency, then it will disappear.

On 27 May, an additional 1,000 troops were sent and a combing operation was begun. How do you rate its chances of success?

There is no chance of any success because the leadership of the counter resistance forces is so poor. Besides, the main thing is that you are fighting on the wrong side. How are you going to help the adivasis when they see that the police are conducting operations? Do you know how many innocent people get killed in the process? How do you get the Maoists out of this game? That should be the objective.

Why dont you answer that question? How do we get Maoists out of this game?

Very simple. Enforce the Fifth Schedule. Let the adivasis administer the area themselves. The chief minister is illegally administering the area by signing a lease with the mining companies. Is that not illegal and unlawful?

Isnt the Chief Minister also a legally and democratically elected representative?

He may be democratically elected but he is doing an illegal thing. He has no power under the Act to administer the forests. The Fifth Schedule says it must be administered by the Governor of the state reporting to the President of India. Where does the Chief Minister come into this?

I want to ask you about Saturday’s massacre of 27 people. A lot has been said about how the route of the Congress convoy was changed at the last minute and the fact that not enough route clearance was done, that sanitisation wasnt done. What are these things sanitisation and route clearance?

Whenever there is insurgency in a forested area, particularly if there are some low hills and they are thickly forested and the road is passing through that, if any convoy of the Government or a political party is passing through that route, they should inform the Government that the route should be sanitised. There should be a road opening party to go on either side of the road to a depth of 1 km so that an ambush cannot be placed. They should occupy the area at least eight hours before the party is about to move and they should sit there. Secondly, an anti-sabotage party should go through with explosive detecting equipment and sanitise the road. Only after they give the clearance, the convoy should be allowed. I don’t think any of this had been done in this case.

But how can you sanitise a route that is as long as 70-100 km?

You cannot. But if you have a large enough force, then you can sanitise it. We have done it in the North-East. I’m not talking about some fairy-tale. I have done it. If it takes five days to cover 100 km, then take five days and sanitise it. If you are sitting there, then they can’t come and plant an IED.

The CRPF have faced a lot of fire from the Maoists in Chhattisgarh. Last year, the Maoists kidnapped the District Collector of Sukma, where the killings occurred on Saturday. Why are they so capable in that region?

Obviously, the forces have not been effective. The Sukma Collector went to that place with only two security guards. What a fool he is. He is a very important man and the collector of a district. He can’t go with just two men. He should have sent two-to-three companies ahead of him and cleared the area.

But he was trying an outreach among the tribal people.

Nonsense. You don’t have an outreach with two men as your guards. He will get kidnapped. The Maoists are using the adivasis to come to power. You are not treating them justly which is why they are going to the Maoists. The Maoists will promise them that when we get the power you will administer the area yourself. The adivasis are poor, illiterate people. What can they do but agree? The only way out is to implement the Fifth Schedule.

But in 65 years, the Fifth Schedule has never been implemented and it is not going to be implemented in a hurry.

It is the law of the land and if you are not implementing it, then you are illegal and unlawful. I’ll give you the answer why it is not implemented. Because, there are millions of dollars available to the Government under these areas and nobody wants to give that money to the adivasis.

Where do you see the situation headed now in the next two to six months?

It is going keep going on and on. Continuous fighting will take casualties. A lot of innocent tribals will be killed and the situation will keep on going from bad to worse.

 

Chhattisgarh home minister blames ‘stars’ for crime against women #WTFnews #Vaw


PTI | Jan 8, 2013, 01.38 PM IST

RAIPUR: Facing flak for the Kanker rape case, Chhattisgarh home minister Nanki Ram Kanwar has landed himself in a spot by saying that crimes against women were happening as their stars were in adverse positions, a remark termed as childish and vulgar by the state Congress.

“We have no answer to this rising spate of crimes against women. Star are not in position,” Kanwar told reporters in Raipur.

Harm can come on a person if the stars are in adverse positions…We have no answer to this, only an astrologer can predict,” the state home minister said.

Kanwar’s remarks on Monday came after opposition Congress in Chhattisgarh demanded dismissal of the BJP government over the issue of the alleged rape on minor inmates of a government-run residential school for tribal girls in Kanker district, which came to light following a complaint on Saturday.

Asked about the home minister’s remarks, chief minister Raman Singh today quipped, “Now, what do I say on this.”

State Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel called Kanwar’s comments as childish and vulgar.

A delegation of Congress leaders, led by Patel, had on Monday met Chhattisgarh governor Shekhar Dutt and demanded dismissal of the state government, saying it has failed to ensure safety of the girls living in residential schools.

In a memorandum to the governor, the party said that everybody was shocked by the incident of rape of inmates of Tribal Girls Pre-matric Hostel in Narharpur area of Kanker.

Two persons, including a teacher, have been arrested for allegedly raping minor inmates of the government-run residential school, according to police.

Accused Mannu Ram Gota, 24, a contractual teacher, was arrested on Sunday night from a forest area of Narharpur, Superintendent of Police Rahul Bhagat said, adding that school watchman Deenaram had also been taken into custody in the case for sexually abusing the girls for several months.

Medical examination has confirmed rape of nine out of the 40 students, who are residing at the hostel located in Narharpur police station limits, he said. Medical tests were still underway.

The Chhattisgarh government has ordered a high-level probe into the incident and Director General of Police Ramniwas has deputed IPS officer Neetu Kamal to investigate it. Stringent action will be taken against those who will be found guilty after the probe, the DGP said.

Meanwhile, services of both the accused along with hostel warden Babita Markam have been terminated by the district collector.

 

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