Sunday, October 29, 2006

Group narrates story of struggle, pain,suffering at the hands of the Salwa Judum militiamen

Group narrates story of struggle, pain against Salwa Judum militiamen
Anand Bodh

Chandigarh, October 28: It seems like the protector is turning into the destroyer. To oppose alleged suppression by members of Salwa Judum, a group formed to counter naxalites in Chhattisgarh, in Bastar region, a group of young people have set out on a journey to gather public support to oppose their atrocities.

Presently in Chandigarh, this group of seven young tribals, including two girls, from Bastar have so far performed in 12 states across the country. Salwa Judum literally means collective hunting, and in their case, it was hunting down the naxalites.

The members of the group, attired in their traditional clothes, presented a song that narrated their suffering at the hands of Salwa Judum and exhorted the people to come together to eliminate the Salwa Judum.

Sandhya Markav, a member of the group hailing from Kanker District of Bastar region, said the objective of this song and dance performance was to make people aware of the plight of tribals at the hands of Salwa Judum. “In the name of suppressing naxal movement in Bastar, Salwa Judum is forcing tribals to migrate from their ancestral land located in deep jungles. Many tribals have got killed at the hands of Salwa Judum,” she added.

Seema, another group member, said the group was formed in 2003. “After collecting money from fellow tribesmen, we sat out on our journey to narrate the truth of Salwa Judum to others,’’ she said.

Raj Kumar Salam, the group leader, said Salwa Judum has forced people of around 600 villages to migrate. Due to the fear, around 30,000 people are living in the jungles.

“The tribals of Bastar are facing onslaught at the hands of Salwa Judum for supporting the naxalites,” he said.

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