Dear Friends and Comrades,
For the last one year and a half, we have been hearing and worrying about the deployment of Army in Bastar area. When all of us have gathered here to discuss about the deployment of army and about the War on People of this country, a brigade of Indian Army is being trained near Kokkodi village on the road connecting Kondagaon and Narayanpur district headquarters in Chhattisgarh (CG). This brigade arrived here in the second week of March 2012. Earlier two brigades had completed their training in Kondagaon and Narayanpur districts. At first, 1700 jawans of Mountain Brigade belonging to the Army entered Bastar in end May 2011. After their training was completed, the second brigade came and departed. The training of the first brigade was conducted near Masaura village on the Raipur-Jagdalpur highway while that of the second was completed near Bunagaon on the Kondagaon-Narayanpur road. Now they have advanced further in the direction of Narayanpur town and are being trained in Kokkodi. It is clear that the Army is advancing further according to a plan to gradually cross Narayanpur town and penetrate into the remote Maad (Abujmaad) area. All this is an exercise to gradually occupy the 750 sq kms area allotted by the CG government to the army for ‘training’.
In the second week of April 2012, General VK Singh of the Indian Army supervised the training of his jawans and did aerial survey of the proposed training area. Earlier, in the first week of April, the Lucknow Central Command Officer Commanding-in-Chief Lieutenant General Anil Chait, Central India Area Command Jabalpur General Officer Commanding Lieutenant General R.S. Pradhan and Brigadier Amrik Singh belonging to the COSA (CG-Odisha Sub Area) Command toured Bastar. They reviewed the training program going on in Kondagaon and Narayanpur districts.
The deployment of Army and all the necessary preparations for this purpose are getting completed rapidly on a big scale. In fact, a nodal cell was formed by the Army long back to study and monitor the Maoist People’s War (PW). With a long term view of completely suppressing the Maoist movement going on in the Central and Eastern parts of India, two Sub Area Head Quarters (HQ) are about to be formed, each with 15,000 soldiers. One would be at Jagdalpur in Bastar and the other would be at Ambarda on Odisha-Bengal borders. The Sub Area HQ was formally inaugurated in Raipur, the capital of CG. They are establishing Brigade HQ by forcefully occupying 1800 acres of land from the peasants of Chakarbhantha village near Bilaspur. Retired Army officers are being employed to give training in anti-IED operations to CRPF. Another training school for the army is about to be established near Saraipaali on CG-Odisha borders.
Even before entering the Maoist areas, the Central Defence and Home ministries had given several powers to the Army in the name of ‘self-defence’. These powers given in the name of ‘Guiding Principles’ and the provisions in the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) are almost the same. Air Force is also involved in its preparations apart from the Army. In fact, usage of Air Force helicopters has been going on for a long time. Apart from the MI-17 helicopters belonging to the IAF, ‘Dhruv’ helicopters belonging to the BSF are being vastly used for transport of armed forces during military operations in Maoist areas. In the combat, search and rescue operations that are carried on through these helicopters, the Special Force ‘Garud’ belonging to the IAF are being used. Apart from the helicopters given by the Centre, the CG government is taking some more helicopters on hire and utilizing them. At present, the process of establishing an Air Force air base by occupying 300 acres of land near Nandini in Durg district is on. An air base is getting built in Narayanpur too. On the other hand, efforts are on to build an air base in Bodeli village on the Dhanora-Gadchiroli road. On the whole, a hundred helipads are getting built in nine ‘Naxal affected’ states.
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) or drones manufactured in US and Israel are also being used on a vast scale. These take real time images, find out about the guerillas’ movements and their camps on the ground and send the data to the control room and in turn they are sent immediately to the forces participating in operations through modern devices. Small UAVs named ‘Netra’ that run on rechargeable batteries are carried and used by the forces during the operations. 1800 mobile towers are newly getting built in the Maoist movement areas. A Regional Navigation Satellite System is being established under the direction of Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO).
It is clear that all these resemble war preparations by occupying armies against enemy countries. The preparations are on the scale of attacks done on foreign armies. What foreign armies are present inside the country according to the rulers? Which foreign elements are present in the heart of our country in Bastar? The Indian Army is descending on Bastar to wage war against whom? It is necessary to know this in detail.
‘Training’ is an excuse to cover up full-scale war preparations!
The government is repeatedly lying that the deployment of Army is not to wage war on Maoists but to give training to the paramilitary and army forces in jungle warfare. Simultaneously, it also announced that Army would participate in joint military operations rehearsals along with police and paramilitary forces. This means that they would surround a vast area, take up mopping-up operations there and would carry on ‘destroy all, loot all and kill all’ campaigns. The recent attacks conducted from three sides on Maad in the second and third weeks of March with three thousand forces can be seen as a rehearsal for this. In fact, it is a lie to say that the army is coming here only for training. It is coming to wage war. The training it is getting at present is part of preparations of this war.
The deployment of Army in Bastar is not just confined to either Bastar or Dandakaranya (DK). It is part of the country-wide suppression war waged by the ruling classes with the aim of completely wiping out the Maoist movement. This is a war imposed on the most oppressed and suppressed people and the Adivasis. This war which was launched in the name of Operation Green Hunt (OGH) since August 2009 is being waged in nine states – Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. The ruling classes have mobilized nearly 4 lakh jawans belonging to various armed forces for this war. CRPF battalions were brought back from Kashmir on a huge scale and deployed in this war. Apart from the local police forces, forces such as special police forces of the states, special commando forces, more than 70 battalions of paramilitary (CRPF-CoBRA, BSF, ITBP) and India Reserve Battalion were deployed in this war. The proposal to deploy Rashtriya Rifles, the counter-insurgency wing of the Indian Army in the heart of the country by calling them back from Kashmir is also being moved as part of this battle plan prepared beforehand.
More than 70,000 local police, CAF, STF, SRP, C-60, CRPF-CoBRA, BSF, ITBP, Koya Commando/SPO (at present renamed as ‘Chhattisgarh Auxiliary Armed Police Force’ after Supreme Court judgment) were deployed in DK. These forces were deployed in police stations, camps and base camps that are established for every 3 to 7 kilometers and carpet security system was established in many areas. This process is still going on. The process of armed forces occupying schools, ashram (residential) schools and anganwadi buildings is continuing unhindered even after the Supreme Court (SC) judgment against such practices. Newer police training schools and jungle warfare colleges are being opened relentlessly.
Suppression campaigns carried on with the aim of wiping out the revolutionary movement
In the Salwa Judum offensive that was carried on in West and South Bastar as part of the suppression plan formulated under the guidance of the Army, 700 villages were razed down. Nearly 1500 Adivasis were cruelly murdered by the government armed forces and government sponsored goons. Hundreds of women were inhumanly raped. More than 50,000 people were dragged to concentration camps that were propagated as ‘relief’ camps. Many more were forced to flee to neighboring states due to fear.
As part of OGH that is being carried on since mid-August 2009, under the direct leadership of UPA-2 and with the full support of the imperialists, particularly the US imperialists and with coordination between the governments of various states, nearly 250 people lost their lives all over DK. Several massacres were perpetrated. Right from 2-year old children to 70-year old persons, several people became victims of police beatings, atrocities and inhumanity. The destruction perpetrated by the government forces in Chintalnar last year is an example of the horrible terror unleashed on the villages. Fake encounters, atrocities on women, indiscriminate arrests, tortures, lock-up deaths and missing cases are happening constantly. And now with the deployment of Army in this unjust war, one can imagine the scale of violence, destruction and massacres that would be inflicted. We all know what is happening in North East states and Kashmir.
In fact, Army has been playing an indirect role from 2004 to 2010 in the suppression operations of Maoist movement and in fascist repression campaigns. However, as the CRPF was given blow after blow in the war of self-defence waged by the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) with the aim of defeating Salwa Judum at first and OGH later and particularly in the backdrop of the Tadimetla (Mukuram) ambush of April 6, 2010 that led to the death of 76 jawans, the Army began intervening directly since January 2011. Responding to this ambush, General VK Singh said that the Army had trained 39,000 security personnel in jungle warfare under a plan drawn up at Home Minister Chidambaram’s initiative. So we can understand how actively the Army was working even by then. The conspiracies to suppress the revolutionary movement developing on the borders of CG-Odisha and to stop the revolutionary movement areas in Central and Eastern India from joining together geographically are behind the establishment of Army Training School in Saraipaali apart from Maad. On the whole, it is clear that the Indian ruling classes have come to this decision keeping in view the developing revolutionary movement in the country, particularly in the Eastern and Central areas and the possibility of it intensifying further.
Collusion of parliamentary parties in the ‘War on People’
The BJP is giving full support to the UPA government at the Centre in the ‘War on People’ and the deployment of Army. In fact, it has been insisting from the beginning that Army should be deployed. The centre is also extending a lot of support to the suppression operations in the states of CG, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh ruled by the BJP. It is allotting funds, resources and forces that they demand. In this unjust war led by the ruling clique of Sonia-Manmohan Singh-Chidambaram-Pranab Mukherjee-Jairam Ramesh, the likes of Naveen Patnayak, Nitish Kumar and Mamata Banerjee are participating actively, keeping aside all their political differences. The so-called left parties like CPI, CPM and others are exposing their true nature by not unequivocally condemning the ‘War on People’ and by not demanding categorically that the deployment of Army must be stopped. Seen in this context, almost all parliamentary parties including Congress and BJP stood in strong support of this war due to their class nature. We must look at this stand taken by these parties in the backdrop of the imperialist sponsored neo-liberal policies implemented by them in their states.
However, some among the higher Army officials are not in agreement with the deployment of Army. It should be noted that the majority of the army officers and retired officers who attended the Army Commanders Conference in June 2011 opined strongly that the Army should not be deployed in the anti-Maoist battle. Earlier when Central Home Minister Chidambaram said in the aftermath of Tadimetla attack in 2010 that the possibility of Air Force strikes cannot be ruled out , the then Air Chief Marshall PV Naik strongly opposed this proposal . He said, “The military—air force, army and navy—are trained to inflict maximum lethality. They are not trained for minimum lethality. The weapons that we have are meant for the enemy across the border... Let us say that the Air Force is called in for attack on a Naxal locality and needs to fire a rocket, which is fired from a minimum distance of 1500-1800 metres… from that distance we are not able to visualize what the target is. Unless we have 120 per cent intelligence that they are enemies, it is not fair to use Air Force within our borders. The Naxals are basically our own people.” He also said that though he was personally against this, the decision about using Air Force would have to be taken by the government. But keeping aside such oppositions and difference of opinions, the ruling classes are eager for full scale deployment of the Army.
The Guidance and Participation of US imperialists
The Indian ruling classes are getting all kinds of support from the imperialists, particularly the US imperialists for this war. Since the launch of Salwa Judum (2005), the US is giving active support to the CG government in suppressing the DK movement. It was clearly stated in its Home Land Security policy that it should bring together ‘non-state actors’ too ‘to act as a force multiplier’. . US encouragement is present behind the formation of counter-revolutionary militias like Salwa Judum (DK), Sendra (Jharkhand), Santi Sena/Santi Sangham (Odisha), black gangs (AP) and Harmad Bahini/Bhairav Bahini (West Bengal). The economic and military experts belonging to US consulate directly supervising the Jungle Warfare College at Kanker several times during the Salwa Judum days, is just one example for this.
In February 2006, the US Consulate General Michael Owen toured CG for four days. If we remind ourselves what he said on that occasion to the media persons, it would be easier to understand what the US interests are in this area and what its exploitative plans are. The Hindi daily ‘Jansatta’ (published from Raipur) reported on February 16, 2006 – “….there are many opportunities to attract foreign direct investments, for Chhattisgarh economic development. In the coming five years there are chances for US investments particularly in minerals, power and tourism. Regarding the naxalite issue…we give an understanding to the concerned companies about the situation here, beforehand…if the CG government invests in infrastructure, more investments can be attracted further from the US…” Michael Owen was in-charge of CG, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Goa states and he held discussions with local traders, industrialists, Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) office bearers and other officials apart from the then CG Governor KM Seth. It should be noted that big US companies like Caterpillar (CAT) are selling a lot of heavy machinery to the mining companies in the Central and Eastern parts of our country.
Again in the last week of May, 2006, William Inman and Kevin Green, the officials of US Consulate in Mumbai toured Raipur and the Jungle Warfare College at Kanker. On that occasion, the then CG government Additional Chief Secretary BKS Ray met them and shamelessly begged that US should help them in suppressing the Naxalite movement in CG. These are just a few examples to show how eager the US imperialists are to loot the mineral-rich Dandakaranya and to what extent they would go to suppress the Maoist movement that is proving to be a hurdle for this loot.
The officials of US intelligence agencies FBI and CIA are established in Delhi and they are guiding the operations for suppression of Maoist movement and to physically wipe out the top leaders of the revolutionary movements. With the permission given by Vajpayee government, FBI inaugurated its office in Delhi officially in 2000. The US is not only guiding the Army in this war, the Pentagon officials themselves are openly announcing that their Special Forces in India are directly participating in counter-insurgency operations. Recently, the US armed forces participated in joint counter-terrorism exercises for 15 days along with the Indian armed forces from March 15, 2012 in Bhatinda, Punjab. Everybody knows that US imperialists were behind the government decision to form National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC). From all this, we can understand the scale US intervention has reached in all counter-insurgency operations including Operation Green Hunt in India. We can also understand how the governments are shamelessly kowtowing to the imperialists by mortgaging the sovereignty of our country in order to suppress the Maoist movement completely.
Why this war?
Why did the exploiting rulers launch this war on the oppressed masses in our country? Why are they taking such trouble to wipe it out by portraying it as the biggest threat to internal security? What is the necessity for deploying Army in Bastar at present? These are matters to be observed deeply.
India is home to valuable mineral wealth apart from vast toiling masses. According to one estimate, there are 20,000 kinds of minerals available here. Our country ranks top in the availability of key minerals like coal, iron, chromate and bauxite. Our country prospering with several perennial rivers and forests is also home to crores of people living in dire poverty. It is a bitter fact that districts having mineral wealth are also areas with majority of the forests, areas with majority of Adivasi population and areas where poverty and backwardness are in vogue. 90% coal and 80% of other minerals are found in the Adivasi areas. The minerals used in the vehicles and planes manufactured by big MNCs like Toyota and Boeing and those used in the building of sky scrapers in mega cities like Beijing are minerals mined in our country. According to one estimate, mineral wealth worth one trillion dollars (50 lakh crores of rupees) is found in the layers of earth in our country.
Chhattisgarh is one of the main states that are home to mineral wealth in our country. 28 kinds of important minerals are available here. The main among these are coal and iron. Nearly 16% of the coal and 10% of the iron ore available in our country belongs to CG. The iron available in Bailadila hills in Bastar area is of best quality in the world. The public sector corporation NMDC mines the iron ore in Bailadila. This would be 80% of the total amount of iron ore mined by the NMDC all over the country. The iron from Bailadila is mainly exported to Japan and also to Korea and China to some extent. With a total deposit of 1343 million tons, Bailadila hills rank in the first place in CG and some of these deposits were leased out to Tata and Essar companies. The applications of many more companies are under the perusal of the government.
Bastar area occupies a special place in CG, thanks to the availability of mineral wealth. Most valuable minerals like tin, corundum and bauxite are present here apart from iron. Raoghat is in the second place after Bastar with 732 million tons of iron ore deposits. The Raoghat hills situated at a distance of 29 kilometres from Narayanpur, are adjacent to the Maad hills. In Budhiyarimaad and Kuvvemari of Kanker district, the most valuable bauxite ore is found in vast quantities. It was discovered recently that 3 lakh tons of bauxite deposits are found in an area of 20 hectares near Kudurwahi in the same district.
New Economic Policies were introduced in the country in the 1990s in the name of globalization. As part of it, the New Industrial Policy was brought into implementation in 1991. As part of the New Mining Policy introduced as a continuation of it in 1993, all the restrictions that were a hurdle to the loot of natural resources of our country by the imperialists till then were removed. Even in those reserved only for the public sector till then, doors were fully opened for the entry of foreign and private capital . Later, permission was granted for 100% foreign direct investments in mining sector. Several mining and mining-related industrial companies were privatized. Along with this, regulations were slackened on a huge scale for the establishment of smelting plants depending on mining, sponge iron plants, power plants, dams and other infrastructure-related industries. Several incentives and concessions were announced. They were prepared to give power, water and other facilities almost free of cost. Thus favorable conditions were created for foreign capital to loot the natural resources of our country indiscriminately. As a result, big threat was created especially to the Jal-Jungle-Zameen of Adivasis and their existence.
In China that has rapidly risen to the second place in world economies with the highest ‘development’ rate, the demand for iron and steel is increasing while the rates of ores in the international market increased on a record scale. Simultaneously mining of raw materials in India increased hugely. In 1993-94, the production of iron ore was 59 million metric tons and it increased to 154 million tons by 2005-06. In the same period, bauxite production increased from 5 million tons to 12 million tons and coal production increased from 267 million tons to 437 million tons. The process of foreign and domestic capitalists madly vying for grabbing minerals began.
At the same time, the governments are badly damaging the interests of small and middle capitalists. For example, according to a report published in ‘Economic Times’ on April 7, 2010, 12 million tons of iron ore is needed per annum for the 105 sponge iron industries in CG while NMDC is supplying only 3 million tons to these. As a result, several among these factories had to be closed.
Hundreds of MNCs and comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie companies are perching like vultures with lakhs of crores of investments all over the country. By September 2009, MoUs relating to 6,69,338 crores of rupees of investments were signed in states where Maoist movement is going on. This would be 14% of the total investments signed for in the entire country. MoUs were signed with many big companies like Tata Steel, Arcelor-Mittal (MT), De Beers Consolidated Mines, BHP Billiton (BHP), Rio Tinto (RTP), Essar Steel, Jindal Steel and Jaiswals NECO Ltd. In CG, Raman Singh government signed MoUs worth Rs. 50,000 crores in 2006. In its first three years of rule, it signed agreements worth one lakh crore rupees totally. More particularly, the imperialists are vying with each other to grab the mineral riches in backward countries like India at very cheap rates in order to come out of the world-wide severe economic crisis that started from the beginning of 2008. They are eager to indiscriminately loot the natural resources by colluding with the comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and feudal classes.
It goes without saying that as mining increased, the displacement of Adivasis and destruction of the forests also increased on the same scale. According to an estimate, 4 crore people were displaced in our country due to mining projects and big dams since 1947 and only 25 percent of them could get even namesake rehabilitation. In the past twenty years, 7,50,000 acres of land for mining projects and 2,50,000 acres of land for industrial projects were grabbed from the people and handed over to the corporate classes. In these total lands lost by the citizens of the country, 40% lands belong to Adivasis who are not even 9% of the country’s population. From this it becomes clear that the majority of the people crushed under the ‘development’ bulldozer run by the exploiting ruling classes are Adivasis.
It is true that all the areas having mineral wealth are Adivasi-majority areas and it is equally true that all the Adivasi-majority areas are areas where Maoist movement is strong or areas under the influence of Maoist movement. Recently, mass struggles are erupting all over the country against SEZs, big projects of MNCs, big dams, leasing of mines and forceful land acquisition. Particularly, the Adivasi areas have become the focal points for these struggles. The slogan ‘Jal-Jungle-Zameen belongs to the People’ is renting the air here. Maoist movement is not only standing in support of Adivasis who are opposing the attack of the ‘capital’, but is leading their resistance. It is exactly for this reason that Maoist movement became the biggest threat in the eyes of the ruling classes of our country and the imperialists who are directing them.
Corporate vultures try to occupy Dandakaranya – People Resist
Dandakaranya is an area rich in several valuable minerals like iron, bauxite, gold and uranium. It would not be an exaggeration to say that there is not a single ordinary stone that does not hold some metal in these hills. The soil here is very fertile. There are many perennial rivers and streams that flow all year long. This is a green forest area that is full of valuable flora and medicinal plants. Along with these, ancient Adivasi tribes like Maria, Muria, Gond, Rajgond, Bhatra, Dhurva and Oraon and people belonging to non-adivasi castes such as Rawat, Kalar, Mahar, Gando, Marar and Panka have been living here since generations. According to the Indian constitution, they are known as scheduled tribes and castes. At present, the Bastar area that is divided into seven districts comes under the 5th schedule of the constitution. The PESA (Panchayat Raj Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act is in implementation here. The Gram Sabhas have special powers. But all these are being violated. Comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie and MNCs have signed several MoUs with the governments without the acceptance of the local people. (If all the proposed MoUs are to be implemented in the DK area, then nearly one lakh acres of land would have to be grabbed from the peasants). Through fake Gram Sabhas or without even arranging for Gram Sabhas lands are being grabbed. The experiences of Hiranar, Nagarnar, Lohandiguda and Bhansi Gram Sabhas are examples for this.
In 2000, NMDC had planned to build a steel plant in Hiranar near Dantewada in collaboration with an MNC named Romelt belonging to Russia. However it took back the proposal after severe resistance from the local people. Later this plant proposal was shifted to Nagarnar in 2001. This is at a distance of 14 kms from Jagdalpur. They occupied 300 acres of land and promised jobs to 250 people. People did not surrender and resisted. When officials came to the villages along with the police to conduct Gram Sabha, people chased them away. They boycotted the Gram Sabha. Police stayed in the village and pounced on the people. They tortured many people including babies and elderly persons. School children writing exams were also arrested and put in jails. Later the government tried again to conduct Gram Sabha. Democrats like BD Sharma and Vandana Shiva declared their support for the people’s struggle and came forward to directly observe the Gram Sabha. Police and goons belonging to Congress and BJP under the leadership of the then BJP MP Baliram Kashyap waylaid them and beat them and forced them to return. Finally, the rulers controlled the people through fascist suppression and grabbed the lands. Compound wall was built around the grabbed lands too. Ten years have passed since then. Many still did not get the minimum compensation promised. As no construction took place other than laying the foundation stone for the steel plant, there is no question of the people who lost their lands getting jobs. Nagarnar residents lost their lands and did not get employment and scattered hither thither.
In 2005, exactly during the beginning days of Salwa Judum, CG government signed secret MoUs with Tata, Essar and Texas Power Generation (US company). In 2006 it signed another 35 MoUs with various corporate organizations. Raman Singh government anyway did not inform people about the contents of these MoUs. It goes to the credit of Raman Singh to have shut down the mouth of the then MLA Lachhu Kasyap belonging to his own party who questioned him in the assembly to reveal the contents of them! What other example does one need to understand how fake words like right to information and transparency pronounced by the government are? However in a draft report prepared by the rural development ministry in March 2009, it was clearly mentioned without any cover up that the first financiers of Salwa Judum were Tata and Essar. Moreover, that report also mentioned that they are eager to occupy the 644 villages that were evacuated due to the terror of Salwa Judum.
Tata steel planned to build a steel plant with a capacity of 5 million tons of annual production by investing Rs. 10,000 crores near Lohandiguda of Bastar district. It is thinking of acquiring nearly 5360 acres of valuable lands from the peasantry for this. If this happens nearly ten villages would go out of existence immediately. Gradually another 25 villages would be destroyed. The people of this area, particularly the Adivasis launched a struggle refusing to hand over their fertile lands yielding two crops a year. In Gram Sabhas held two times, people made a resolution that they would not succumb to pressures and hand over lands. But collector, police officials, Tata middlemen and Tata management colluded and conducted Gram Sabha in Jagdalpur under police protection instead of in the villages and made a fake resolution that they got ‘approval’. It was plainclothes policemen and Tata henchmen who sat in these fake Gram Sabhas like villagers and gave ‘approval’ with thumb impressions. Though CPI led this struggle at first, in the later days it took the compromising stand that lands can be handed over for more amounts of compensation and was opposed by the people. At present, Tata management is resorting to several schemes and conspiracies through its middlemen and trying to bring divisions among the people. It is conducting several fake reform programs in the name of corporate social responsibility (CSR). But people are fighting back police repression, defeating the conspiracies of the middlemen and are uncompromisingly fighting not to let Tatas enter their lands.
Dhurli faced similar experience. Essar is a big comprador company that has one lakh crore rupees of turnover all over the world and it planned to build a steel plant with a production capacity of 3.2 million tons investing Rs. 7,000 crore by grabbing 1483 acres of land from a total of four villages including Dhurli, Bhansi and Kamalur. But the local people are not ready to hand over their lands. The then collector of Dantewada KR Pisda who played the main role in conducting Salwa Judum, the main leader of Salwa Judum Mahendra Karma of Congress and Kedar Kasyap (Baliram Kasyap’s son) of BJP who was the then Health Minister came directly to these villages along with police and goons, threatened the people at gunpoint and conducted the ‘Gram Sabha’. They threw into the dust bin the regulation that no outsiders should take part in Gram Sabhas and pressured the people to sign the resolution of ‘approval’. As people did not surrender in spite of this, they could not occupy lands for steel plant here even after six years.
The same Essar Company is looting water resources of Bastar on a large scale since 2002. It is transporting 8 million tons of iron ore slurry through a 267 km long pipeline from Bailadila mines to Visakhapatnam. For this sake it is misusing water on a huge scale. In order to reduce its transportation costs, it is letting the water of Sankhini, Dankini and Sabari Rivers to wastefully flow into the Bay of Bengal. Due to this, many of the neighboring villages are not only facing water scarcity but ground water levels are coming down on the whole. Due to transportation of iron through pipeline with water pressure, the transportation cost for this big company reduced from Rs 330 to Rs 80. Even if we keep aside the heavy loss to railways due to this, why did the government give permission for the loot of valuable water wealth that caters to the food and water needs of the Bastar people? It is because the profits of the corporate classes are more important for it than the lives of the Adivasis here.
Though people led by Maoists have tried several times and damaged this pipeline, it is rebuilding it with the help of the police. Recently the police did foul propaganda that Maoists are getting money from Essar Company and arrested some Adivasis by portraying them as mediators for Maoists. They were severely tortured and false cases were foisted on them. If this allegation is true, what is the necessity for Essar to sponsor Salwa Judum jointly with Tata as was mentioned in the draft report on land relations by the rural development ministry? What is the necessity for the Essar Company to fund the plan to evacuate the people from villages and transport them to repression camps on the roads if it had ‘protection’ from the Maoists? If the government really believed that this allegation was true, then instead of making the innocent Adivasis scapegoats, why not chase this corrupt company and its pipeline completely out of here! This is just a cheap tactic to throw mud on the Maoist movement and not only the people but even the governments know the truth and and the stand of the Maoists towards the exploitative policies of the corporate companies. Keeping aside this allegation, people and the Maoists leading them are still fighting to protect the water wealth of Bastar by not letting the Essar pipeline to function.
Due to the Bodhghat dam planned to be built by the government on the Indravati River, 32 panchayats would be submerged. Nearly 70-80 thousand people would be displaced. Chitrakot Falls that are famous as ‘Bastar Niagara’ would be completely submerged. This multi-purpose project that would produce 500 megawatts of electricity is for the service of the capital coming here and not for the local people. In fact, this is a scheme of 1971. Government is bent upon restarting this project that was stopped due to the protests and resistance of the people all these days. In end 2010, Jindal Company too entered the arena in the name of survey. However, people continued the struggle legacy of their ancestors and are resisting with the slogan ‘Jan Jao Jeev Jao, Bodhghat Kaje Ladva’ (We would fight for Bodhghat even if we lose our lives). Government is indulging in repression through police and paramilitary forces and is putting those who are leading this people’s movement in jails.
The struggle to protect Raoghat is another of the life and death struggles of the Bastar people. Iron ore deposits were found in this mountainous area for the first time in 1899. In 1949 the Geological Survey of India surveyed it. The Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) is trying since 1983 to mine iron ore from these hills containing 731 million tons of deposits. Due to this along with the existence of 23 villages facing threat, water resources, forests and agricultural fields and ecology on the whole would be heavily damaged. In spite of this, the environmental and forest ministry gave clearance for this project in 1996. However, this was stopped due to people’s resistance. The people of this area are fighting against the proposal for mining since 1992 itself. In 1992, ten thousand Adivasis took a big rally in Antagarh town. With this, efforts were intensified once again from 2007 to finish this project that got stopped.
They are wrongly propagating that if Raoghat mines are not opened, there is a danger of public sector unit Bhilai Steel Plant belonging to SAIL being closed and that it would put a question mark on the future of thousands of workers. They are saying that Dalli Rajhara mines that are supplying iron ore at present would soon become unproductive. People are clearly understanding that all this is false propaganda and that SAIL is just a cover and that it is the Tatas, Essar, Jaiswals NECO, Mittal and Jindal who are the real big players who are going to descend under this cover. It goes without saying that the propaganda that the Dalli-Raoghat-Jagdalpur railway line being built for these mines is ‘the only way for the development of Bastar’ is also equally false. At present, the government is specially bringing in 5,000-strong BSF forces to forcefully open these mines. On the other hand, the Bhilai Steel Plant management announced that it would raise one battalion of (800-1000 personnel) armed force separately. . This means that the stage is set to open the mines by chasing away the Adivasis at gun-point and cutting down forests. But people are not surrendering to any kind of pressures and fighting back.
There are 21.8 million tons of iron ore deposits in Chargaon near Raoghat, 15.6 million tons in Mettabodili adjacent to it and 12.8 million tons in Hahladdi. Government leased these to several mining companies such as Jaiswals NECO, Prakash Industries, Vandana Energy, Agro Synergy, Kusum Minerals and Monet Ispat. All these companies are trying to deceive the people with falsities and are seriously trying to open mining activities since 2004 itself. However the local people consolidated and are stopping these schemes that would lead to their destruction from getting implemented. At present, the government brought this entire area under carpet security and is resorting to brutal repression with BSF forces. Camps were established for every 5 to 7 kms. Hundreds and thousands of armed forces are pouncing on the villages and creating fear and terror.
It is estimated that in the Chhota Dongar (Amdaimetta) area at the centre of Maad hills, there are 35.3 million tons of iron ore deposits. A company named Jaiswals NECO is seriously trying to do mining here. In mid-2010, when this company tried to start mining by felling trees on a huge scale without the permission of the people and with the support of some middlemen, people rallied on a huge scale and chased away the company officials, forest officials and the middlemen. Since then they are not daring to enter there. However it is to be noted that they are tightening the trap with carpet security in this area too.
Dozens of millions tons of iron ore deposits are there in the hills adjacent to villages such as Khadgaon, Boria Tibbu and Roseli in Manpur area of Rajnandgoan district. Corporate companies such as Raipur Alloys, Godavari Ispat, Jaiswals NECO and Vandana Global are seriously trying to start mining activities here. People launched militant struggle against Raipur Alloys that started the Pallamad mines in this area. More than a thousand people and workers rallied in 2008 January and closed this mine. But after some period, the management started work again. Once again people rallied on a huge scale in December and not only closed the mine but had also sent back the machines and vehicles from there. People are building movements opposing this mine that is proving to be a disaster to the agricultural fields, forests and people’s lives as a whole and other proposed mining projects.
Recently it is reported that there are huge uranium deposits nearby Aundhi and Mohala villages in the same area. Efforts are on to mine these. Thus this area as a whole is on the edge of a huge disaster. However people are building movements against this. In order to facilitate indiscriminate loot of the mineral wealth here by the corporate companies by suppressing these movements, the government is unleashing severe repression by deploying thousands of ITBP forces. Governments dedicated to the service of corporate classes are trying to suppress the people with carpet security. However people stood in opposition to this corporate offensive.
People are also building movements against Aridongri, Kache, Chargaon (Kanker district) mines that are on the borders of this area. Several mining companies and mining mafia were forced to retreat due to people’s movements.
In Budhiyarimaad and Kuvvemari areas in Keskal area there are valuable bauxite deposits. Mining was started to loot them and the people launched resistance struggles in the beginning of 1990s itself. People consolidated in thousands and held several rallies and public meetings. They gave many petitions to the then Madhya Pradesh government. Finally, after chasing away the mining company officials who took a stubborn stand, the people won a victory. Recently it was found there are huge bauxite deposits in Kudurwahi area. The notorious Vedanta Company for which the Home Minister Chidambaram had worked as a lawyer and was a member of the board of directors for some period, has its eye especially on this area. There is no need to mention why Chidambaram is so eager for this war. The Adivasis here are not so innocent as to not to understand that the hoardings of Vedanta company on the entire road that turns towards Jagdalpur from Raipur city are not just for display!
On the other hand, several companies are waylaying to destroy the ‘Jal-Jungle-Zameen’ by opening iron mines on the Surjagarh hills in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra that is part of DK. Maharashtra government signed MoUs with many companies to mine several minerals in areas such as Besewada, Dhamkondvadi, Maseli, Jhandepar, Bande, Gunduzur Mohandi, Purhurmetta and Korepalli. Recently some corporate companies despaired that they are not able to open mines in 12 areas due to the resistance and protests from the people of Gadchiroli. From this we can understand how eagerly corporate companies such as Essar, Lloyd, Surjagarh Steel and Mines Ltd, Virangana Steel Ltd and Gopani Iron are awaiting opportunities to completely loot the riches in Gadchiroli district.
People are severely resisting the anti-people, treacherous policies that are very cheaply selling iron ore from Bailadila. While the rate of iron ore in open market is Rs 5,800 per ton and Rs 10,000 per ton in the international market, NMDC is selling best quality iron in the whole world to Japan at a very cheap rate of Rs 160. Due to this, heaps of iron ore is reaching Japan at just Rs 400 expenditure per ton. The royalty that the government gets on this is less than Rs 50 per ton. Can there be any other example for daylight robbery and treachery than this? On the other hand, the remaining deposits in Bailadila hills are being sold to corporate companies such as Tata, Essar, Jindal and Mittal. People are fighting to stop this.
To be precise, the utmost disastrous policies that are sought to be implemented by the exploiting rulers chanting the mantra of ‘development’ with the aim of handing over super profits to the corporate classes are facing the resistance of people in DK at every step. People are opposing and resisting in several other areas too including Bihar, Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra. Among those leading this resistance, the CPI (Maoist) stood as the vanguard. This is the immediate reason behind the government’s decision to deploy Army to suppress it.
People’s Alternative Development Model that is worrying the rulers
The important aspect for the backdrop of deployment of Army in DK is the revolutionary people’s government or ‘Revolutionary People’s Committee’ (RPC). In the language of the local people it is ‘Krantikari Janatana Sarkar’. One of the important successes achieved by the people as a result of the class struggle that is going on for the past 30 years is the formation of people’s democratic organs at village and area level. The formation of democratic power organs of the oppressed people based on worker-peasant unity by rejecting fake parliamentary democracy and by destroying the power of the feudal forces and tribal bad gentry through class struggles is going on for almost the past 15 years. Oppressed masses, oppressed sections, particularly women who have been kept away from political power all these days are at present taking an active part in the democratic power organs.
Another important success is that there are no landless peasants in DK as a result of the revolutionary movement of the past 30 years. ‘Krantikari Janatana Sarkar’ distributed the lands of landlords, surplus lands and forest lands to the landless and poor peasantry in many places. These people’s democratic governments are committed to the all-round development of the people and bringing to the fore a new and alternative development model basing on the values of self-reliance and cooperation and keeping class struggle at the core. As part of revolutionary land reforms, changes are being introduced in agricultural policies too. In the initial days they started with labor-aid teams and seed banks and at present people have taken up on their own many works useful to the people like building of tanks for irrigation, fish rearing, growing fruit orchards, growing vegetables and building of drinking water facilities. People got a lot of support to increase production and productivity and to grow crops due to these works built mainly based on collective labor and with lesser resources.
The fact that the exploiting governments have never put sincere efforts to provide education to the Adivasis though 64 years have passed since the so-called independence can be known by observing any Adivasi area. Particularly this is more so in DK. People established primary schools in nearly 100 centres on their own under the leadership of the Krantikari Janatana Sarkar and are teaching their children in their mother tongue. The condition of medical facilities is worse than that of education. But due to the efforts of the revolutionary movement, though at a very lower level, primary health care became available to the Adivasis in many villages.
In this course, several changes have occurred in the lives of the people culturally too. Particularly, as the patriarchal oppression on women was reduced to some extent, women are able to participate in revolutionary movement actively. Forced marriages came to an end or were reduced considerably. The concept of equality of women and men is developing everywhere. Similarly, the course of consciousness-raising among the people against superstitions is also going on.
Led by ‘Krantikari Janatana Sarkar’ people put efforts to increase productivity by taking up ‘land leveling’ campaigns in the month of February in the past two years. Tens of thousands of people participated in this campaign. Thus the revolutionary people’s government became a part of people’s lives in each village. An alternative model of development is developing in DK.
Revolutionary people’s government is emerging and developing in Bihar-Jharkhand apart from DK and some other areas in our country as a practical example of the Maoist understanding of area-wise seizure of power with the aim of establishing people’s political power by forming a united front led by the proletariat based on worker-peasant unity and joining with petty-bourgeois and national bourgeois classes by overthrowing the rule of feudal and comprador bureaucratic bourgeois classes. Though it is at a very primary stage and weak and limited only to some areas, it is advancing in the direction of developing.
The emergence of new power organs of the oppressed masses in the heart of our country stood as a morning star to the New Democratic Revolution that would sound the death knell of the rule of feudal and comprador bureaucratic bourgeoisie class rule. This stands as a ray of hope and an ideal to the oppressed masses all over the country. The exploiting ruling classes are deeply worried exactly for this reason. They are daydreaming that they can stall this process by suppressing this with the Army. At present the Indian Army is not only going to wage war on the most backward adivasis, but also on the new democratic power they are building at a primary level and on the most progressive development model that they are bringing to the fore!
Massacres perpetrated as part of ‘War on People’
Since the launch of a country-wide multi-pronged war in the name of OGH, people and democrats have been describing this as ‘War on People’. Out of the nearly 250 persons who lost their lives in the hands of the armed forces in the past two and half years, more than 90% are ordinary and unarmed people. The very launch of Green Hunt in DK began with massacres.
Before the launch of OGH formally, two months after Raman Singh came to power, on January 9, 2009, police massacred 17 villagers including five women at Singaram of Dantewada district. On June 20 they perpetrated another massacre at Kokavada of Bastar district by killing six villagers.
After the launch of OGH, on August 10, 2009, CoBRAs who entered the field for the first time in Vechapad village in West Bastar (Bijapur district) perpetrated a massacre by murdering six persons including a woman. Among the dead only the sixteen year old Somli was a PLGA member while all the rest were ordinary Adivasis. Somli was taking rest in the village due to ill-health and was unarmed. They were caught on their way to the weekly market and the CoBRA forces led directly by the then Dantewada DIG SRP Kalluri shot them dead.
On September 8, 2009, four villagers including a woman were caught and shot dead by the police and CoBRAs in Gollagudem village in Dantewada district. On September 17 they attacked Singanamadugu, Gachanpalli, Gattampadu and Palachelima villages simultaneously and killed a total of 12 persons including 70 year old Dudi Muye. On October 1, they attacked Gompad village and killed 12 Adivasis including three women. On November 10, they attacked Tettemadugu and Palod villages in Konta taluq simultaneously and shot dead seven persons on a single day. On December 11, they attacked Gumiyapal village in Dantewada district and shot dead seven Adivasis.
On February 3, 2010, seven Adivasis were shot dead in the name of ‘encounter’ in Takilod village of Bijapur district. On February 7, five unarmed villagers including two women were shot dead in Ongnar village of Narayanpur district. On October 8, ITBP jawans indiscriminately fired mortar shells in Savargaon of Gadchiroli district and killed six villagers. Some of the dead were school children. Many more were injured. On October 9, police waylaid and attacked the PLGA Company near Padkipali village of Mahasamund district and six guerillas died there. At the same time they caught two villagers and killed them too. On November 23, nine persons belonging to the People’s Militia were caught and shot dead at Mettaguda Para belonging to Jegurgonda.
Inhuman atrocities perpetrated on women
It is women who were and are victims of violence, atrocities and insults during Salwa Judum and OGH more than anybody. In all the unjust wars waged by the exploiting classes, it is a fact that they perpetrate violence and atrocities more on women. Women of Indravati area of Maad apart from women of West and East Bastar became victims of horrible violence in Salwa Judum attacks. During attacks on villages, police, paramilitary, SPOs and Judum goons gang raped women. Many of them were brutally murdered by slashing their throats after raping them. Just in ten villages adjacent to the Bijapur district headquarters, 74 women had been raped and it is difficult to imagine how many women were raped in the thousands of villages all over DK and how many are being raped daily. Several women were taken forcefully and kept in Judum camps and they were raped for weeks and months together. SPOs and goons kept many of them as their ‘wives’. Women belonging to families of revolutionaries were also forcefully taken and integrated among them. There are many examples where father against daughter, sister against brother and mother against children were made to stand as enemies.
After the launch of Green Hunt, violence, atrocities and murders on women increased further. Particularly, they formed killer gangs with SPOs and goons to attack women participating in various spheres of the revolutionary movement. An activist named Kumli who was working alone in an agricultural farm run by the Krantikari Janatana Sarkar in Maad was caught on February 12 by mercenary killers, gang raped and brutally murdered by slitting her throat. In the same year, on August 17, an activist named Chaite working in the party press was caught when she went alone to bathe and brutally murdered. Many more women escaped such attacks.
Military type massive offensives
While in the first one and half years of OGH, government armed forces mostly resorted to massacres, many changes occurred since the beginning of 2011. Mobilizing thousands of forces, surrounding selected pockets simultaneously from all sides and conducting attacks came to the fore as a main form. These attacks are happening according to the plans formulated under the direct guidance of higher military officials. The SP, DIG, IG level officials belonging to police and paramilitary forces are leading them directly. In such attacks, doing as much destruction as they can in the villages, shooting dead some persons, raping women and taking away many of them are the usual methods followed. Of those caught, to let off some of them, to turn some of them into informers either by coercing or through terrorizing and to foist false cases on some more of them and sending them to jails is being implemented as the policy. Thus jails are getting filled with Adivasis.
In October 2011, five thousand CRPF-CoBRA, C-60 commando and local police jointly took up a massive campaign and conducted combings on a large scale under Gyarapatti and Malewada police station limits in Dhanora taluq of Gadchiroli district. Camps were established at 11 places in the forest and at least 300 jawans were deployed in each camp. These forces covered a total of 19 villages in the Gyarapatti area. In these operations held day and night, a total of 12 people were arrested. Many were beaten. They forcefully entered homes and looted bharmars (muzzle loaded guns), knives, axes, money etc. At the end of the operation, in a night ambush conducted by the PLGA forces a CoBRA jawan died and eight were wounded.
From November 24 to 27, 2011, nearly a thousand-strong government armed forces laid ambushes in several places for a distance of 35 kms covering 16 villages such as Gornam and Mankeli in West and South Bastar area. They traveled completely in the forests avoiding villagers and laid this area ambush that covered all important routes. They built big bunkers, laid mines on the paths and conspired to blast them as soon as important leadership steps on them. They ate and drank the food and water they carried with them for about three days and made a failed attempt to murder the important leadership of the revolutionary movement.
On December 19, 2011, they conducted a massive attack on Peda Kedwal and China Kedwal villages in South Bastar division (Dantewada district) with helicopters. Simultaneously from Polempalli, Kistaram and Bhejji police camps, forces were dropped in several trips in about 15 helicopters. At the same time, forces traveling on the land too reached from all the three sides. They conducted attacks on these two villages, destroyed some houses completely and arrested a total of 12 persons. Valuable items including cash of tens of thousands of rupees were looted from many homes. When they tried to rape a woman, a peasant resisted with the bharmar gun he had. Thus that woman could escape. As part of self-defence, PLGA guerillas resorted to counter-attacks on the government armed forces at four places. There were no casualties on both sides. On December 22, the Hindi daily ‘Dainik Bhaskar’ published from Raipur warned that this is the type of attacks that would be conducted in DK in future.
From February 27 to March 1, 2012, government armed forces numbering nearly 2,000 conducted a massive operation in Gangalur area of West Bastar division (Bijapur district). In this attack targeting Edsum, Irmagonda, Maddum and Kavad villages, a total of 13 members were arrested. In the self-defence attacks conducted by people and PLGA guerillas, two CoBRAs were injured.
During the first and second weeks of March, 2012, Maad was surrounded simultaneously from three sides – from Bijapur and Narayanpur districts in Chhattisgarh and from Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra and a massive operation was conducted with 3,000 jawans. This was named as ‘Operation Vijay’ and ‘Operation Haka’. Several IPS officers led this operation directly. The CG and Maharashtra DIGs including CRPF DG Vijaya Kumar formulated the plan for this. In these attacks where destruction and attacks were conducted on nearly 25 villages an Adivasi named Dunga Dhurva belonging to Toke village was murdered by the armed force. A youth named Lalsu belonging to Goddelmarka village was abducted and ‘missing’ since then. Several valuables were looted from homes including thousands of rupees. In the resistance of PLGA forces during these attacks, two CoBRAs were injured.
‘War on People’ waged as a High-tech war
This ‘War on People’ could be termed as the Indian version of the Low Intensity Conflict (LIC) strategy that was formulated with the experiences of counter-revolutionary wars of imperialists, particularly US imperialists. Based on the experiences gained and lessons learnt from the suppression campaigns conducted in areas such as Telangana, Kashmir, North East, Naxalbari and Punjab, the Indian ruling classes are conducting this war. Under the guidance of the US advisors, the military and intelligence higher officials are formulating the plan for this war. They are waging this war arming themselves with modern weapons and communication devices and by deploying Army along with police, paramilitary and special commando forces trained in Jungle Warfare College. They are using all the high-tech equipment such as satellites belonging to space research organizations, UAVs (drones), modern helicopters, GPS devices, satellite phones imported from imperialists, in this war. At the same time, it should be particularly noted that India is ranking first in the world in purchasing arms.
They are using unmanned aerial vehicles known as drones on a huge scale and taking images. Basing on these, the conspiracies to murder the revolutionary movement’s leadership and the guerilla forces are being hatched rapidly. They are concentrating on the central and state level Maoist leaders mainly, announcing lakhs of rupees of rewards and are trying to wipe out strategic leadership of the revolutionary movement. The conflict management think-tanks are insisting repeatedly that surgical operations based on intelligence must be conducted. In this backdrop, the ruling classes may resort to attacks with drones in the coming days. It would not be surprising if the Indian rulers who are being supported by US imperialists in every manner go to such ends. There is a danger of Dandakaranya Adivasis becoming victims of UAV attacks just like Adivasis in North-West Pakistan. The aim of using UAVs is to evacuate DK and the Adivasi areas in our country.
Huge increase in the number of government armed forces
Utilizing problems such as poverty and unemployment that spread in the country due to the anti-people policies of the rulers, they are recruiting youth on a big scale in movement areas and in other areas. They are recruiting anti-people, lumpen and anarchist elements in the movement areas on a big scale as SPOs. Apart from them, ordinary youth are also being recruited by luring them with employment or by arresting and terrorizing them. For example, police in a similar manner forcefully recruited an Adivasi youth named Lingaram Kodopi and he had to go High Court to get out of it. The aggressive and anarchist elements from the local SPOs are selected and they are forming special commando forces with names such Koya Commando and Maad Commando. They are being trained by Rashtriya Rifles, Greyhounds and Jungle Warfare Schools.
Rallies are being held for recruitment into police, paramilitary and Army forces. They are giving preference to recruit local persons on a big scale. This is part of the plan to use on big scale persons who know local languages and have grip on terrain. They are recruiting police on a big scale in CG. This is continuing in other states where Maoist movement is going on. The average ratio of police to one lakh population in the country is 160, while in CG and Jharkhand it is 205.
In all states, special commando forces are being formed, specially trained and given additional incentives and allowances. These forces are given indiscriminate powers to beat and shoot down people, to loot and to rape women and are being turned into wild animals. In fact, these special forces are given names of wild animals. Not just people, but even the rulers too regard them as wild animals than humans. All names such as Greyhounds, Hawk Force, CoBRAs, Jaguars and Black Cats indicate their nature. By giving them awards, rewards and promotions they are being turned into crueler persons. Recently, 38 police officers and jawans were given out of turn promotions for killing naxalites in ‘encounters’. Some more were given cash rewards. The Koya Commando commander Kartam Surya who raped several women and was part of many crimes being given ‘Maa Danteswari’ award in the past (Surya died in PLGA ambush on February 9, 2012) and Dantewada SP Ankit Garg who inhumanly tortured an Adivasi teacher named Soni Sori being given gallantry award by the President on January 26 are some more examples.
Fake reforms are aimed at diverting people from struggle path
Rulers are following the strategy of ‘Clear, Hold and Build’ in their War on People. Sometimes hold and build policies are being used together while sometimes they are changing places. Suppressing the revolutionary movement, bringing this area into the grip of the armed forces and establishing their state system once again – this is the essence of this strategy. As part of this, the attacks of armed forces on one hand and fake development programs on the other are going on together. Recently, the fake development package jointly taken up by the central and state governments in Jharkhand in the name of ‘Saranda Action Plan’ in Saranda forest area and the military operations carried on in the name of ‘Operation Anakonda’ could be the recent examples for this.
The Planning Commission formulated a Five Year Plan with Rs. 13,742 crores in the name of Integrated Action Plan (IAP) for 60 districts belonging to nine states. As part of it, Rs. 1000 crore package was announced for Dantewada district. The major part of the hundreds of crores of rupees that are being granted in the name of development programs are being allocated for building the necessary infrastructure for the armed forces. Money is spent mainly on roads, buildings, bridges, mobile towers, electrification etc. Programs that would directly help in solving people’s issues are very less in this. Though these schemes have a popular nature, they do not solve the basic needs of the people. In fact, it goes without saying that this is to divert the people from the revolutionary movement and not for solving the basic issues of the people. It is the aim of the exploiting governments to lure people with these fake development schemes, bring a divide among them and mould a section in their favor and link them to their government machinery. Thus on the one hand, they are trying to mould them as the social base necessary for them and on the other hand to turn them into informers and use them in the suppression of the revolutionary movement. Thus the government is utilizing these ‘development’ programs to divide people, damage the mass base of the revolutionary movement and to suppress the revolutionary People’s War through attacks of armed forces.
The process of establishing ashram schools on pukka roads, in the vicinity of police stations/camps and transporting students from remote villages of Bastar to outside areas is also going on as part of this conspiracy. Village youth and students are brought to the district headquarters in the name of Education hub, Pota Cabin School and sports complex etc. Thus they are seeing to it that they do not join the revolutionary movement. There is no need to mention how widely corruption has spread in all kinds of activities that are going on in the name of development works. At the same time, it should be noted that the total amount of money that is allocated in the name of ‘development’ is nothing when compared with the revenue that is being looted from DK. The ultimate aim of these programs is to wipe out the revolutionary movement and turn this entire area into an abode for corporate exploitation and to indiscriminately loot the natural resources here and nothing else.
The governments are making the administrative machinery to work very actively to definitely implement these fake development programs. The example of KR Pisda would suffice exactly to understand the crucial role of IAS officers in the counter-revolutionary war waged against the revolutionary movement in DK. During the initial days of Salwa Judum, Pisda who was then collector of Dantewada (he was an Adivasi too) said in an interview given to ‘Outlook’ English magazine (May 15, 2006) – “If you aren’t a naxalite, you must be Salwa Judum, there is no third choice here”. He played a crucial role in conducting Salwa Judum and in preparing the blue print for running the so-called relief camps. In the initial days of the Salwa Judum itself, the Kanker district collector Dr. SK Raju posed for the newspapers with an SLR and said that he too was prepared to fight with the naxalites. (‘Haribhumi’ Hindi daily, Raipur edition, July 10, 2005).
Thus they have come to the fore aggressively during the Salwa Judum period and at present, as part of the ‘Hold, Control & Build’ strategy they are coming to the fore with a human face. Particularly, young, ‘efficient’ and ‘untainted’ IAS officers are searched for and deployed in these areas. They are widely touring the villages and are following the tactics of binding the people to their deceptive programs. They are given a lot of propaganda in the media and are artificially creating an image about them as persons aiding the people and as sincere persons.
It is known to all that when government armed forces resorted to massive violence and destruction in four villages in Chintalnar area in March 2011, Dantewada collector Prasanna tried to reach relief material to the victims and Koya Commando/Judum goons stopped him. On that occasion, media praised Prasanna as a ‘People’s person’. But it should be noted that when ‘The Hindu’ reporter asked him - ‘What is your response to the atrocities committed by the police forces?’ he replied – ‘My job is to concentrate on development than on law and order’. Thus while on the one hand the armed forces are resorting to military attacks, on the other hand the top bureaucrats of the administrative wing are making invisible attacks on the people in the name of ‘development’! Their faces are different, their roles are different but the aim of all of them is the same.
Government is also utilizing NGOs in implementing fake reform programs. On the other hand, NGOs running on foreign funds are also penetrating and submerging the people in various illusions and trying to divert the people from the struggle path. These are introducing popular schemes such as giving loans and generating self-employment. Some more NGOs are using revolutionary jargon and are posing as if they are raising ‘consciousness’ of the people against corruption and wrongdoings that are piled up in the government to ‘fight’ against them and trying to establish themselves among the people. On the other hand, various religious institutions are also working in DK. Particularly, the Ramakrishna Mission that is working since a long time in Maad area is gathering talented Maad youth in the name of providing education and medical services and is trying to turn them away from the revolutionary movement. Government too is appreciating their services, giving them large amounts of funds and is implementing most of their reform programs through this organization. The process of hinduizing the Adivasis is also going on undercover through them.
Civic Action Program – A cheap tactic to deceive the people
All kinds of armed forces – CRPF, BSF and ITBP and the Indian Army that is deployed now, are using Civic Action Programs as a deceptive tactic in ‘War on People’. Similar to corporate companies that deceive people in the name of CSR, the government armed forces that suppress the people are distributing medicines, utensils, farm implements and bicycles, pencils, pens, notebooks, undergarments sports material etc. Where people refuse, things are distributed by threatening and beating people. There is a tactic named ‘Winning Hearts And Minds’ (WHAM) in the LIC strategy formulated by the imperialists. The exploiting governments are allotting hundreds of crores of rupees to their armed forces for this sake. Even from these funds the corrupt officials are robbing as much as they can and spending some part of it. Thus apart form diverting the people from the revolutionary movement by submerging them in illusions, turning them into corrupt persons, using them as informers and gathering information is their actual motive. They are propagating these programs on a big scale in the newspapers and TV channels with color photos and are trying to put a veil on the murderous face of the armed forces. With the same blood-stained hands that are razing down villages and houses, ruthlessly shooting down people, beating them black and blue, perpetrating unspeakable tortures and atrocities on women, looting people, destroying people’s properties and burning down the harvest, they are also flinging some crumbs to the people through such programs.
Along with government armed forces, corporate companies like Tata, Essar, Godavari Ispat, Jaiswals NECO and also Bhilai Steel Plant are deceiving people with such programs as part of CSR.
Psychological Warfare in connivance with the corporate media
Psychological warfare based on foul propaganda is an important aspect in the War on People. As part of it, efforts are on to propagate lies, half-lies, prejudices and illusions on a large scale against revolutionaries. They are propagating on a massive scale using newspapers, radio, TV channels, hoardings, pamphlets, posters and documentaries etc portraying Maoists as violent, anti-development and terrorist. The government armed forces are covering up the violent acts and massacres that they are resorting to and are falsely propagating that Maoists are killing innocent Adivasis. They are carrying on foul propaganda in several manners like…there are differences between the party leaders, there is no coordination and the movement has weakened due to loss of top leadership etc.
The ruling classes are making intellectuals who support them, journalists and ex-Naxalites who turned traitors write several articles against the revolutionary movement. In the TV discussion forums they are made to spit venom on the revolutionary movement and revolutionary ideology. On the other hand progressive, revolutionary writers and journalists are also invited to their forums and seminars and given awards and they are publishing their books, providing facilities such as giving them plots and allotting lands, trying to co-opt them and turn them dishonest through this.
Thus they are trying to break the morale of the people, democrats and revolutionaries. The role of corporate media is very crucial in this. Media organizations like Dainik Bhaskar, Haribhumi and India Today are working actively in propagating the lies spread by the government machinery in Dandakaranya. The two big daily papers in CG – Dainik Bhaskar and Haribhumi managements have partnership in the anti-people projects that would evacuate the Adivasis from Jal-Jungle-Zameen. The single example of DB Power Ltd belonging to the Dainik Bhaskar group in Dharanjaygarh of Rayagarh district is seriously attempting to occupy 1713 acres of land from the peasants to start a coal company would suffice to understand what their interests are. Due to people’s resistance and presence of Maoists the managements of these papers are facing several ‘problems’ in starting mining activities and grabbing lands from the peasants! Many of their leases in coal and power sector are in risk. So it is not surprising that newspapers and TV channels run by such corporate lords are playing an active role in this psychological warfare.
State hounds those standing on the side of Justice
How can the ruling classes that carry on psychological warfare based on injustice and lies tolerate those standing on the side of justice? From Salwa Judum in the past to OGH in the present, several fascist attacks were conducted on those who speak and write the truth in Chhattisgarh. Police harassed, beat and threatened to kill two journalists named Kamlesh Paikra and Afzal Khan who reported on the atrocities of Salwa Judum. As journalists and democrats all over the country condemned this and expressed solidarity with them, they survived. It is not an exaggeration to say that in places like Dantewada and Jagdalpur, it has become the norm for the police to threaten that they would kill journalists. ‘Kill any media persons who come to cover news about Naxalites’ – the wireless message sent by the Bijapur SP KL Manhar in the initial days of Salwa Judum was heard not only in CG, but the whole country heard it through TVs. However the CG government transferred him to Human Rights Commission later!
Raman Singh government incarcerated and finally even pronounced life sentence on Dr.Binayak Sen, Vice-President of PUCL and human rights activist as he stood firmly on the side of the Adivasis and opposed the Salwa Judum from the beginning. The fact-finding teams that toured Bastar during Salwa Judum period were beaten, insulted and sent back by the police and goons. Himanshu Kumar, a Gandhian was forced to escape to Dantewada by burning down his ashram and later was chased away by not letting him stay anywhere in CG as he questioned the state violence on Adivasis. Many false cases were foisted on Arundhati Roy in CG as she toured Bastar forests and wrote an article in ‘Outlook’ and an atmosphere was created where it became difficult for her to enter CG .
The police haven’t still released a 70 year old freelance journalist named Prafful Jha who was arrested on the allegation that he had connections with Maoists in 2008 and Asit Sengupta, revolutionary writer and editor of ‘World to Win’ Hindi magazine. Asit Sengupta was sentenced to eight years imprisonment. A Maoist activist Malati and a worker Surendra Kosariya were sentenced to ten years imprisonment on the allegation that they had proclaimed the barbarity of Salwa Judum through a video CD. Recently, on March 4, 2012, the CG police arrested a young lawyer Rekha Parganiha in Bhilai on the allegation that she possessed ‘extremist literature’. The crime of this woman was to argue the cases of several Adivasis who were put in jails in the name of Maoists! One can imagine the scale of barbarity on ordinary Adivasis by the state that is harassing journalists, doctors and lawyers, not leaving even Gandhians. On the whole, now in Dandakaranya nearly three thousand Adivasis are incarcerated in jails with false cases. At present, in the backdrop of Army entering the war directly, it is clear that values such as people’s fundamental rights including the right to live, democracy, freedom of press and freedom of expression would fall into greater risk in CG.
People resist the ‘War on People’ bravely
People are bravely resisting the present OGH too with the experience of defeating the fascist Salwa Judum suppression campaign. They are advancing in the path of struggle amidst constant repression. The role of DK people along with the PLGA in defeating Salwa Judum is very prominent. People are also playing an active role in the war of self-defence waged with the aim of defeating the OGH launched since the beginning of 2009. As a result of these mass resistance actions, apart from heavy losses to the paramilitary forces, their morale is also dipping in several instances.
People, particularly women are coming on the roads against the attacks, arrests, tortures and atrocities on women perpetrated by the government armed forces. They are doing gheroas of police stations/camps against lock-up deaths and for the dead bodies of those killed in fake encounters. They are blocking the roads. They are conducting militant movements apart from rallies, meetings and public meetings against destructive projects like mining, big dams and big industries giving the slogans – ‘Right on Jal-Jungle-Zameen belongs to us’, Dandakaranya is ours, not that of exploiting robbers’, ‘We would give our lives, not our lands’. At present DK people are rallying in movements against the deployment of Army on this land. Maad people took a rally for the first time in Narayanpur town against the training school to be built by the Army. They gave slogans such as ‘Go Back Indian Army’ and ‘Withdraw the proposal of training school in Maad’. In entire DK including Bastar, people’s movements are going on against Army. Apart from Narayanpur, dharnas and processions were taken against Army in Antagarh and Koelibeda too. DK people collected signatures against deployment of Army and sent them to the President. People are making resolutions in the Gram Sabhas opposing the proposed mines and heavy steel plants apart from Bodhghat dam and violation by the government itself of the rights given under the ‘PESA’ act and the ‘5th Schedule’.
This war is counter-revolutionary, reactionary and unjust!
This government war waged with the aim of suppressing the revolutionary movement, democratic and all progressive people’s movements is by nature anti-people. This is a war waged on all oppressed classes including workers and peasants by the feudal class and comprador bureaucratic bourgeois class that are the ruling classes of the country, for fulfilling the interests of their imperialist lords. This is a war waged by governments that represent exploiting classes to suppress the mass resistance and mass movements that are erupting against their anti-people policies. That is why this is an unjust war, a reactionary war. This is a war being waged to hand over the entire riches of the country to MNCs and big bureaucratic bourgeois companies and to evacuate the people, particularly the Adivasis from their Jal-Jungle-Zameen. This is a war waged to decimate the ‘Revolutionary Janatana Sarkar’ established by the DK people to rule themselves and the development model based on self-reliance that is brought to the fore under its leadership. This is a war waged to completely wipe out the CPI (Maoist) that is leading the revolutionary movement and the PLGA that is fighting under its leadership. In this war all the parliamentary parties that hold aloft the decadent parliamentary system and the present fake democracy have stood together against the people. The police forces, paramilitary forces, special commando forces, anti-people goonda mobs, Indian Army, Air Force and all the intelligence departments belonging to them that are dedicated to the interests of the super-rich corporate companies and the feudal classes are deployed in this war. Standing on the other side are the army of the oppressed that entered the life and death struggle wearing rags and with empty stomachs, armed mainly with traditional and country-made weapons. This is absolutely a war between unequal forces! At present it is the Maad area that would immediately be affected with this war. This is an area that is kept remote from development by the outside society and ruling classes that term it ‘Abujmaad’. The people of Maad are facing a big danger of being chased away from their ancient dwellings, becoming displaced or being completely wiped out due to deployment of the Army here. They are standing on the edges of a heavy destruction where they would lose their excellent way of living that they have been preserving since generations, cooperative nature and collective spirit that they have imbibed deeply, a great culture, language…everything.
What must we do to stop this?
It has been proven many times in history that people are the makers of history. People play the crucial role in the struggle waged to protect the sovereignty of the country, natural wealth and resources of our country and the future of our country as a whole. People alone possess the power to stop and defeat unjust wars. That is why it is the need of the day to build a vast, militant and united people’s movement to stop this biggest destruction of lives happening in front of our eyes and the ‘War on People’ by rallying actively and vigorously without any delay. This people’s movement must spread to all the four corners of the country with the following demands. Vast masses must be rallied into it.
¬ Stop War on People – Operation Green Hunt immediately.
¬ Withdraw the proposal to establish Army training schools in Maad area and Saraipaali. Stop training and deployment of Army immediately.
¬ Withdraw all paramilitary forces such as CRPF, BSF and ITBP from the Maoist movement areas including Bastar, Rajnandgaon and Gadchiroli districts.
¬ Take action against Chhattisgarh government that violated the Supreme Court judgment of January 18, 2011 stating that armed forces must be evacuated from the school buildings within four months. Immediately evacuate government armed forces from all school buildings implementing the SC judgment.
¬ Put on trial the CG government by booking a case of contempt of court for making a mockery of SC judgment of June 5, 2011 by continuing Koya Commandos and SPOs under other names and making them resort to illegal activities.
¬ Stop fake encounters immediately. Conduct independent probe on all the encounter deaths that happened in DK since 2005; on lock-up deaths; particularly on massacres such as Hariyal, Singavaram, Vechapad, Singanamadugu, Gachanpalli, Gompad, Kokavada, Takilod, Ongnar, Jegurugonda and Savargaon. Punish severely the culprit officials.
¬ Punish severely all the police, paramilitary forces, SPO, Koya Commando and Salwa Judum goons who perpetrated atrocities on women.
¬ Withdraw all cases foisted on 3 thousand Adivasis incarcerated in the name of Maoists in the jails in CG and Vidarbha areas and release them unconditionally. Free all political prisoners.
¬ Stop burning down villages and houses. Conduct independent inquiry on all instances of destruction unleashed by the government forces since 2005 and punish the culprits.
¬ Annul all the MoUs signed by Maharashtra and CG governments with corporate companies that are proving to be a threat to the existence of the people in DK area.
¬ Scrap all fascist Acts such as Chhattisgarh Special People’s Security Act (CSPSA), MCOCA, UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act), Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and Sedition. Withdraw the proposal to form the fascist NCTC (National Counter-Terrorism Center) brought to the fore increasing the grip of US on the internal affairs of the country and with the aim of suppressing all just people’s movements under the veil of ‘Terrorism’.
¬ Immediately stop usage of unmanned aerial vehicles for suppression of people’s movements.
REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRATIC FRONT (RDF)
Published and released on June 7, 2012
 Wherever Bastar is mentioned in this paper, it means that it is the undivided old Bastar area which is now divided into seven districts – Dantewada, Bijapur, Sukma, Bastar, Kondagaon, Narayanpur and Kanker.
 ‘Dandakaranya’ or DK at present means Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra, the undivided Bastar area of CG and the southern part of Rajnandgaon district