Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Salwa Judum Photo Essay

Salwa Judum - Images capturing the genocidal campaign being waged against the
adivasi's by Government Of India

All images taken from this flickr stream

Photographer Scott Carney's blog

Counter Insurgency Expert Jason Miklian examines his notes on the Naxal - Salwa Judum conflict.

A Salwa Judum runt poses with his new toy
This man says he is 24, but he joined the Salwa Judum at the age of 12. He is now a special police officer--a nebulous post that does not have the training of a full police officer.

This man used to fight for the Naxals but now has switched sides to help the police hunt down his former friends. Switching sides has made his family a target. Naxals killed his brother in retribution. Now he leads police raids. The day before this photo was taken he was shot in the arm.

Deadly Dodo's
In central India a government funded militia is waging war against communist insurgents. The war has gotten out of control and now many civilians are being pulled into the conflict. As of this year over 100,000 people are living in refugee camps. These two members of the Salwa Judum militia act as scouts for the police during raids. The boy on the right was shot in the arm the day before I took this photo.
A sikh police officer diffuses a IED.

Explosive paste from a confiscated IED. Last year over 12 tons of this material was lost from a local mine.

A string of detonators found in a roadside IED placed by Naxal militants. These sorts of bombs are easy to make and are among the most effective weapons in the conflict.

Two AK-47s confiscated from Naxal militants in central Chattisgarh. They are sealed as police evidence.

Around the Salwa Judum militia camps there are hundreds of burned out houses and villages. This empty house was a suspected Naxal hideout. More often than not the Salwa Judum attack villages at random in their fight against Maoism. The numbers of civilian casualties are staggering.

A police officer aims a machine gun through a fence outside a station in Jagdalpur.

One of Chhattisgarh's Most Wanted Criminals -
Ram Bhushan Kushuah - Notorious gangster
and psychopathic serial killer strikes a pose with mercenaries of the
Salwa Judum .

India's new warlords are armed by the police to fight the Naxals. This man, Ram Bhuvan Kushuah is feared througout the district. People say that he is responsible for thousands of killings.

The conflict sits on top of one of the most valuable iron mines in Asia. This shot from inside a steam shovel in Bacheli, Chhattisgarh. Some people allege that Salwa Judum only exists to free up land for mining contracts, and is not really a fight against communism.

This massive steam shovel was attacked by Naxals a month before I arrived. Naxals target mining infrastructure because they say local people don't reap any benefit from the multi-billion dollar industry.
(Unfortunately the damage was temporary and the machine has been repaired )

Christopher Kindo is the Deputy Director of Mining in Chhattisgarh. he says that he doesn't understand why Naxals keep attacking his equipment.
(Aaahhh..... the innocence dripping from his face could melt anyone's heart)

The mining machinery in Chhattisgarh comes from an American company and sells for half a million dollars per truck. This massive load puller can hold several tons of top grade iron which eventually ends up in building projects across India and Japan. The mines are a central target of Naxal militants.

A malnourished adivasi lies staring into space, too weak to work as a slave in a
Salwa Judum concentration camp.His ancestors left him mineral reserves which are worth
several thousand trillion dollars at current market rates.
But he remains a beggar...

World War II Concentration Camp - Jews were forced to dig their
own graves after which they were lined up in their graves and shot

“Arbeit Macht Frei” (Work makes one free).

A mining official looks on near a Salwa Judum concentration camp while
children slave on to make a road that will eventually
hasten the loot of their land ,their own destruction
and all the time taking them one step closer to their final solution.

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