Archive for the ‘Chhattisgarh’ Category

Civil War in Bastar intensifies , Maoists retaliate against brutal state terror

March 16, 2007
Civil War in Bastar intensifies , Maoists retaliate against brutal state terror
Press Trust of India / Raipur March 15, 2007

In the biggest ever strike by Maoists on security forces in Chhattisgarh, at least 55 police personnel were killed and 11 injured today when more than 300 heavily armed rebels stormed a police station in the Bastar region.

The Naxalites, led by the military wing of the banned CPI-Maoist attacked Rani Bodli police outpost, 525 km from here, in the wee hours today, police sources told PTI on phone from Bijapur district.

“There was fierce fighting by both sides, but when the security forces ran out of ammunition, the rebels lobbed grenades and petrol bombs on the barracks. The policemen were forced to come out from the shelter after it caught fire, and were subsequently killed in firing by the Naxalites,” a source said.

Sixteen Chhattisgarh Armed Force (CAF) jawans and 39 special police officers were killed, while four CAF jawans and seven officers were injured in the incident. Nine other policemen who were at the outpost escaped without any injuries.

The Naxalites looted 48 weapons from the security forces, including rifles and a two-inch mortar, the sources said.

This was the biggest attack by the rebels in Chhattisgarh since the state was formed on November 1, 2000. The killing of 55 secuity personnel has put the state government in an embarrassing position.


Raman Singh get’s big cake of cow dung on his face , surrender drama turns out to be flop show

January 6, 2007

Raman Singh get’s big cake of cow dung on his face , surrender drama turns out to be flop show

Honourable Chief Minister of Chhattishgarh Raman Singh, director of
The Great Maoist Surrender show which turned out to be a big flop.

The government of Chhattisgarh along with it’s pet
programme Salwa-Judum has lost all credibility.

Some people believe that this programme was initially
planned to raise the sagging morale of the Salwa-Judum
goons and state terror police but has now backfired
leading to further demoralisation among the supporters
of Salwa-Judum.

Fake Maoists at surrender show

Raipur: Chhattisgarh’s BJP government has come under fire for getting scores of tribal civilians to surrender as Maoists.

The Congress on Friday said that 79 rebels including seven women, who surrendered before Chief Minister Raman Singh and Home Minister Ramvichar Netam in Wednesday, were innocent tribal civilians who had been persuaded by the government to surrender as Maoists.

The claims of the Congress were boosted with police refusing to provide crime details of a majority of the surrendered Maoists.

“A few have a criminal background. All the surrendered Maoists were Dalam member’s a local affiliate of the banned outfit Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) but we do not have their criminal records,” a police official told IANS.

Raman Singh described the surrender function as a historic day and provided Rs 1,000 to all the rebels, who took oath of joining the mainstream.

Congress veteran and former chief minister Ajit Jogi questioned the surrender exercise and criticised the Raman government for “staging a ceremony of fake Maoists”.

Jogi said the government had forcibly brought “innocent tribals to Raipur from trouble-hit Bastar areas” to claim that they had been achieving success against the leftist militants.

He said that the BJP government should resign on moral grounds for staging a “ceremony of tribal civilians who were branded Maoists for political gains”.

Chhattisgarh is the worst of 13 Maoist affected states. About 50,000 tribals of 600 forested villages are being held in to government-run concentration camps in Bastar since June 2005 when Salwa Judum ( a state sponsered terror campaign) against the rebels was initiated.


Five killed in landmine blasts in Chhattisgarh

December 21, 2006

Five killed in landmine blasts in Chhattisgarh

Raipur, Dec 21: Five persons, including two security force personnel, were killed and four injured when Naxalites triggered two powerful landmine blasts today in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district, a senior police officer said.

“Two special police officers and two villagers were killed on the spot when Maoists targeted their tractor and triggered a landmine blast at Polampalli, about 550 km from the state capital,” Dantewada’s Superintendent of Police Om Prakash Pal told reporters.

The incident occurred when security forces, after transporting rations to Polampalli police outpost, were bringing in two sick villagers to Dornapal for treatment, Pal said.

When more security forces were rushing to the spot immediately after the attack, Maoists triggered another landmine blast close to the site of the first explosion. They also fired indiscriminately on the forces, injuring four persons, including a Mizoram police Jawan and two SPOs.

The Jawan and another villager, who were seriously injured, were airlifted to Raipur for treatment, pal said.

A police team later killed the Naxalite who had triggered the landmine blast, Pal said.

The security forces and Naxalites also exchanged fire for before the rebels escaped into nearby jungle. Combing operations have been launched in the area, pal said.

Bureau Report

Nagpur: Tribal woman awaits justice Ketki Angre …

December 14, 2006

Nagpur: Tribal woman awaits justice
Tribal woman awaits justice
Ketki Angre

Wednesday, December 13, 2006 (Nagpur):

For the last five years a tribal woman in Nagpur has been fighting a determined battle to get justice for her son.

Jabbebai, a Madiya tribal from the Naxal infested Gadchiroli district in Maharashtra, lost her son in a police encounter.

In March 2001, her 19-year-old son Chinna Mattami left home to go fishing with his friends but never came back.

He was shot dead by the police in an encounter, one of the many reported from this Naxal infested region.

These are also instances of tribal people caught in the crossfire between the police and the Naxals, which often go unreported.

Never give up

The police said Chinna was a Naxalite but an inquiry later proved he was innocent.

“A magisterial inquiry was ordered into the incident and that clearly said he was neither a Naxalite nor a Naxal sympathizer,” said Paromita Goswami, activist.

Jabbebai approached the High Court which directed the state to pay her a compensation of Rs 2 lakh but the government got the order stayed by the Supreme Court.

On her part, Jabbebai refuses to give up the fight to clear her son’s name. After an assurance from Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister R R Patil she is now hoping justice will be meted out.

Whether it is Kavita Gadgil, Priyamvada Devi Jha or Jabbebai, these are remarkable stories of courageous women who have left no stone unturned to get justice for their sons. A determined struggle that has not bowed down before any judicial hurdle or any seat of power.

Maoists kill four policemen in central India

December 14, 2006

Maoists kill four policemen in central India

RAIPUR: Four policemen were shot dead when about 250 Maoist rebels made an abortive bid to attack a refugee camp in central India early on Wednesday, police said.

The clash took place just outside a camp housing 1,000 tribal refugees in a forested village of the Dantewada district of impoverished Chhattisgarh state, 480 km (300 miles) south of the state capital, Raipur.

The dead included a police constable and three special police officers (SPOs), locals who have been recruited to act as informers and assistants for the police in their battle against the rebels.

Senior police officer R.K. Vij told Reuters the Maoists tried to storm the camp but were turned back by police. The rebels fled after reinforcements reached the area. Dantewada has become the epicentre of Maoist violence in India since the state government helped set up an anti-Maoist movement called Salwa Judum (State sponsered terro) in the remote district last June. reuters

1,000 armed Maoists attack CRPF camp

December 4, 2006

1,000 armed Maoists attack CRPF camp

BHUBANESWAR: Armed Naxalites attacked a camp of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) on Sunday night at Cherpal village, about 12 km from Bijapur town in Dantewara district of Chhattisgarh.

Police sources said the Maoists, numbering about 1,000, cordoned off the CRPF camp at around 8.30 pm and opened fire, forcing the para-military forces to retaliate. Firing was still on in the area and preliminary reports indicated that the CRPF personnel were safe.

A company of CRPF personnel and about 50 special police officers (SPOs), the local tribal youth recruited to assist the police and para military forces were present in the Cherpal camp.

Even as the fierce gun-battle went on, bordering districts of Orissa were put on alert. Malkangiri police had started keeping a watch on the border areas suspecting any fallout of the Naxal attack.

Malkangiri SP Himanshu Lal told this website’s newspaper that his units were in touch with security forces of Chhattisgarh and maintaining constant surveillance.

EARLIER ATTACKS: It may be recalled that on July 17, about 25 persons were killed and over 150 injured when Naxalites attacked Errabore village in Dantewara. At least 20 persons were taken captive.

About 800 Naxalites attacked a CRPF post and a State Government-run relief camp at Errabore at 1 am. Armed Naxals stormed the Errabore relief camp, where around 5,000 tribals were being forcibly held by Salwa Judum goons in concentration camp like conditions .

Naxalites first attacked the CRPF camp, keeping the security forces engaged, and then raided the relief camp and then attacked the much loathed Special police officers SPO’s at Errabore relief camp.

In April this year, Maoists had killed 11 policemen, including an officer, in an attack on a police post in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh. About 70 Naxalites came to the Murkinar police outpost in a bus and started attacking the policemen.

Eleven died on the spot. The Naxalites looted most of the weapons, including one LMG and three AK-47s.

Maoists protest leasing of mines in Chhattisgarh

November 26, 2006

Maoists protest leasing of mines in Chhattisgarh
2006-11-25 17:17. India News

Raipur, Nov 25 (IANS) Security forces were deployed in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada district Saturday to safeguard Tata and Essar steel units as the Maoist rebels forced a dawn-to-dusk strike in the region.

The Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist) gave the strike call to protest against the state government decision to lease Bailadila iron ore mining to the two private companies.

“Thousands of paramilitary troopers and police force have been deployed at sensitive points and key mining installations in Dantewada,” Inspector General of Police Girdhari Nayak told IANS over phone.

“Fortunately, there have been no untoward reports so far,” he said in the afternoon.

Bailadila in Dantewada district has large iron ore stocks, divided into 14 deposits. The state government recommended to the centre last month to award mining lease to Tata Steel for 150 million tonnes from Deposit No.1 and to the Essar group for 32 million tonnes from Deposit No.3.

CPI-Maoist’s Dandkaranya special zonal committee spokesman Gudsa Usendi has called upon Maoist cadres to ensure a total strike in Dantewada on Nov 25 to protest the decision.

Home Minister Ramvichar Netam said: “Over 10,000 paramilitary troopers and members of the Chhattisgarh police force have moved to Dantewada and in and around Bailadila iron ore facilities.”

A home department official said the strike affected vehicular traffic in Sukma and Konta blocks and some areas of Bhansi, where Essar has planned a steel plant, as transporters kept off the road.

Chhattisgarh is one of the 13 states affected by Maoist violence and rebels have killed about 400 people this year including 312 civilians. The rebels claim to fight for India’s poor peasants and landless labourers.

End Salva Judum, kids to tell Kalam on state anniversary

November 24, 2006

End Salva Judum, kids to tell Kalam on state anniversary

RAIPUR, NOVEMBER 6: Please stop Salva Judum” — a plea made by 12-year-old Soyam Sandhuri, a resident of Errabore Salva Judum camp. She wants to tell President APJ Abdul Kalam that Naxal violence should end and blames the government-initiated movement for driving her family out of their village.

While Chhattisgarh is celebrating the sixth anniversary of its creation, a group of 50 children from various Salva Judum camps, who are in Raipur to participate in the celebrations, hope that the President will listen to their woes.

Aas Manju, a 13-year-old from Errabore camp, wants to return to her village which the Naxalites allegedly burnt to the ground.

“We want this violence to stop. We can’t see our family members getting beaten up in front of us,” she added, refusing to elaborate on who is beating up people in

the camps.

The group of children will meet the President and hold a one-on-one talk arranged after the inauguration ceremony of Purkhoti Muktangan, a site being built to promote Chhattisgarh’s culture and handicrafts. Only a few of these children can speak in Hindi and the rest can only speak in Gondi and Halbi, so a translator has been provided to aid the meet.

Most of these children seemed dissatisfied with the government’s provisions for sanitation and medical facilities in these camps; a few even dream of becoming doctors to serve their community at a later stage.

Jamuna Marham, a student of sixth standard, wants to become a doctor. She wants to ask the President to help establish a better school in the Errabore camp. She hasn’t forgotten that the school in her native village of Uritaga was destroyed a few months ago when the CRPF was using it for setting up a base and the Naxalites
attacked and destroyed it.

However, some of these children have decided to stick to basic necessities and the children from Beramgarh camp have decided to seek the President’s help in installation of a handpump in the camp.

Trapped between Naxals and Salva Judum

November 21, 2006

Trapped between Naxals and Salva Judum

For Kamlesh Paikra, a tribal journalist from Bastar, it is like being between a rock and a hard place. Shivam Vij spoke to him

AP Photo

Reporting the truth about Naxalites had never earned Kamlesh any love from the Naxals: they called him reactionary and asked Naxalite leaders not to speak to him. There were threats against him

On a November day in 2005, headmaster Tarkeshwar Singh was teaching in a school in Cherpal village near Bijapur in Chhattisgarh. A few Salva Judum leaders, accompanied by police, entered the classroom and told him that he was being arrested. He was taken to the Bijapur police station and told that his crime was to have Naxalite literature and red uniforms at his home, besides firing a gun in a public place. He was charged with criminal conspiracy. But a CRPF commander said the recovery of red literature and uniforms is not possible because he (the CRPF personnel) lived with Singh’s younger brother, Kamlesh Paikra. The CRPF commander was transferred to Delhi.

Two local traders then approached Paikra, telling him how his brother could be released. All he had to do was to accede to the demand of Salva Judum leader Budhram Rana that a news report published by him on September 8 in Hindsatt, a local daily, was false. Kamlesh refused. The report had said that in Mankeli and surrounding villages, Salva Judum mobs had destroyed 50 houses of those who had not been attending their meetings. The report had resulted in a visit by a team of the Communist Party of India. Salva Judum members restricted Paikra’s entry into camps of the displaced and prevented him from accompanying a team of the People’s Union for Democratic Rights, a human rights groups.

Kamlesh Paikra, 29, had been freelancing for local newspapers in Dantewada district, where Bijapur is a small town. He was one of the few adivasi journalists in a district where two-thirds of the population is tribal. Adivasis live by the forest: they collect flowers, tendu leaves, tamarind, saal seeds and bamboo. Then the government mandated that the adivasis could sell some items only to the government, which would then sell them to private buyers.

While the initial rate for tendu leaves was fixed at Rs 10 a bundle, the government was pressured into raising it to Rs 45 a bundle. The demand for raising the prices of tendu leaves and bamboo was just one issue exploited by a new group that began gaining ground in Dantewada. They demanded a separate state, Bastar, and called themselves Naxalvaadi. The Naxalites are now under the banner of the CPI (Maoist) and popularly known as “andar waley”.

The State exploits you, said the Naxalites, and wanted all signs of the State removed from the villages, so as to create their own parallel establishment. Kamlesh Paikra saw his land erupt with violence and reported it. Local villagers would tell him about Naxalite meetings and the decisions taken there, and Naxalite leaders would give him interviews discussing their strategy. The Bijapur sp, DL Manhar, asked him in April 2005 who his sources were.

Can’t reveal, said Paikra. I’ll find out on my own, the sp allegedly replied. After a tape was circulated in which Manhar was allegedly recorded ordering his subordinates to kill journalists, he was transferred, ironically, to the state human rights commission.

The Naxalites had become a law unto themselves, and rebellion from amongst the adivasis was inevitable. In January 2005, some adivasis in Bhairamgarh were found roaming around with bows and arrows, their traditional weapons, and living in a police station. Such instances became more frequent over the next few months, and the official version was that a popular uprising against the Naxals had taken place in Dantewada in June 2005, and that these people called themselves the Salva Judum, ‘Peace Initiative’.

But Paikra said he had never heard the term or news of large-scale mobilisation till September. Rather than a popular uprising, it is, he says, a Chhattisgarh government initiative. The inability to check Naxalism now had a simple solution: pitting adivasi against adivasi.

Reporting the truth about Naxalites had never earned Paikra any love from them: they called him reactionary and asked Naxalite leaders not to speak to him. There were threats against him. Fearing for his life, he shifted to Bijapur from his village in Cherpal. Things began to look up for him: he was granted a licence to run a pds shop. But Paikra also continued his journalism. When he saw Salva Judum take to violence against those who wouldn’t join them, it was for him as newsworthy as the Naxalites taking to violence against those who wouldn’t join their ranks. His Hindsatt report embarrassed Salva Judum leaders and police. The arrest of Kamlesh’s brother was only the beginning of his nightmare.

After back-breaking efforts to get Tarkeshwar Singh out on bail materialised 15 days later, Kamlesh found his pds licence cancelled without reason and Hindsatt disowning him as their reporter. “My only fault,” he says, “is that I thought of the well-being of the people I lived amidst, the land my father tilled on.”

This was just a year after the Naxalites had forced him to shift out to Bijapur. “Encounter hone wala hain, bhaag ja,” a well-wisher informed him in the middle of a December night. Kamlesh hid himself in friends’ houses for some days and shifted to Dantewada city along with his parents, his pregnant wife, two sisters and two brothers. But Tarkeshwar, the eldest sibling, is still in Bijapur, suspended from his teaching job but attached to a government education office at a lesser salary. In Dantewada, Kamlesh was unemployed. “I would have died of hunger had I not been helped by some good folks in Delhi,” he says.

His requests to the state human rights commission, Governor Lt Gen KM Seth and Chief Minister Raman Singh have not elicited any reply. Even as opposition to the Salva Judum has grown, the state government continues to support the militia, who have the status of special police officers. Kamlesh says Dantewada alone has camps with around 50,000 Salva Judum members. All their needs are met by the government. “Those who couldn’t afford a bicycle now maintain motorcycles. Where’s the money coming from?” And that’s part of the reason why, he says, the Salva Judum is not going to be shut down.

Not that it has proved to be of any use against the Naxals, he says. Naxal activities have only grown, deriving greater legitimacy from the existence of Salva Judum. Anyone who goes back to his village from the Salva Judum camp never returns. As the killings continue, Dantewada saw a 50,000-strong rally on November 14 demanding an end to Salva Judum. “The so-called anti-Naxal Salva Judum has become a tool for vested business and political interests,” he says. “In any case Salva Judum could have been successful only if it had come from the people rather than the State.”

The Salva Judum has disrupted life in Dantewada. Villagers are angry that the turmoil has even stopped the celebration of local festivals such as Padum and Nawa Khani, which revolve around forests and agriculture. All the fight has been over water and land, and Kamlesh doesn’t see how it can be resolved by putting adivasis in militia camps. And the land they leave behind is taken over by the Naxals.

It seems unlikely to Paikra that the Chhattisgarh government is going to admit that Salva Judum was a mistake and withdraw it, for even the opposition supports Salva Judum. Kamlesh fears the violence is going to get worse, and it’s already a civil war. As for himself, he doesn’t know where he will go or how he will feed his family, if he lives at all. Thanks to news about him being put out by the Chhattisgarh Net website, international press freedom groups have joined the Chhattisgarh Shramjivi Patrakar Sangh in demanding that the Chhattisgarh government provide him security so that he can return to Bijapur and live a normal life. “Even if I can’t get back to journalism or have my pds shop restored, I can always take to farming. That is what my father did for 30 years,” says the 29-year-old graduate in political science, sociology and Hindi.

Open letter to President of India by a concerned citizen of Chhattishgarh

November 14, 2006

Open letter to President of India by a concerned citizen of Chhattishgarh

Shri.Abdul Kalamji,

Dear Sir,

During your speech at Chhattisgarh “Rajya Utsav” on 7th of this month you recited a poem in which you mentioned about the “Bhumkal” movement started by the Tribals of Chhattisgarh,”Chitrakoot” waterfall,simplicity of the state etc..

Was there a single Tribal leader around you through out your stay in Chhatisgarh?

CM Raman Singh is a migrant from Uttar Pradesh.

Governor KM seth is representing the Biharis.

Other ministers of the State like Brijmohan Lal Agrawal,Prem Prakash Pandey,Rajesh Munat etc are migrants from Rajasthan.

Will the above list of people do justice with the Tribal culture and Tradition?

No sir the Tribals remain either naxalite or untouchables for these Leaders of the State.

How long will Chitrakoot, which you mentioned in your poem survive the onslaught from the Tata Steel which is coming up very close to it?

In the name of planting Jatropha,tribals are being displaced from their forest homeland.

If I am wrong then you can always use your power to find out the Truth.
The tribals need your help sir.

Raipur the Capital is Choking with unplanned industrialization where the crops are also becoming black with the pollution coming out of the Sponge Iron Units.Just imagine what it must be doing to the Children of the Villagers next to the Industries?


Is the Main-Stream Media doing anything about the killings of innocent boys and girls by the crpf and other police agencies in Chhattisgarh in the name of naxalite?

Its was very disturbing for me to see the snap of 17 year old girl shot and killed by the army 2 days back in Bastar.The other injured girl also died yesterday.

My argument is how can anybody kill boys and girl aging from 10 to 20 years and get award from the State Government for doing this Dastardly act?
Why is the main-stream media keeping quiet about this?Would have this happened if a non-tribal is killed in the name of naxalite?

Is the Main-Stream Media/Press hiding the truth from the people of India?Are you guys working under pressure from Indian Government and corporate houses like Tata,Essar,Reliance etc for not writing about the inhuman acts being done to the innocent tribals of Bastar?

Hope the killing of innocent tribals by the State government soon stops