REVOLUTIONARY DEMOCRATIC FRONT (RDF)
Condemn the Brutal Fascist Onslaught on the Revolutionary Movement by the Central and State governments!
Stop State and State-sponsored Terror in the name of Salwa Judum in Chhatisgarh!
The reactionary government of India, with the active support and advice of theUS imperialist global terrorists, had unleashed a massive all-round offensive, with the military offensive as the chief component, against the revoltuinary movement in India. Declaring that Maoists are the principal threat in the country today, the reactionary ruling classes have drawn up plans to drown the people’s movements in rivers of blood.
The UPA government led by the Congress at the Centre and the state governments of AP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chathisgarh, Orissa, Maharashtra, West Bengal, MP, UP, Uttaranchal, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu etc., led by various parties including the revisionist parties, have launched joint operations and countrywide coordinated attacks under the Joint Operational Command. The Chief Ministers, Chief Secretaries, and DGPs of 13 states are meeting frequently to effectively implement this gory plan of enacting blood-bath in these states.
The region stretching from Jharkhand to AP is strategically important for the Indian ruling classes and the imperialists as this region contains most of the minerals and forest wealth in the country. The new alternative movement of the masses at the grass-roots which represents genuine democracy is, obviously, intolerable to the exploiters, ruling our country whose so-called democracy is exposed as the rule of the corrupt, authoritarian, communal and fascist forces that bulge at the expense of the vast majority of the masses of our country. Hence the ruling classes have drawn up a complete plan to unleash a brutal reign of terror to pave the way for investments from the big capitalists of Indiaand the MNCs in this vast mineral-rich region and to nip the growing revolutionary people’s democratic power in the entire region.
The ruling classes have resorted to the age-old dual policy of carrot and stick i.e., reform and repression, to divide the people as well as to suppress them most cruelly. They have poured huge sums of money to win over a tiny section of the people in the areas of struggle, set up private armies on a big scale in almost all the states to eliminate revolutionaries and democratic individuals and create terror, created covert agents and informers from the poorer sections through coercion and outright bribery, killed hundreds of people belonging to the Maoist Party or sympathetic to the revolution, arrested and tortured thousands of people, raped and molested women and destroyed the property of anyone suspected to have links with the revolutionaries.
And this onslaught has reached horrendous proportions in Chhatisgarh where over a hundred people had been killed, including 15 women, 2 minors, 9 old-aged persons, 35 women were raped, 1300 houses in 70 villages were burnt down, and property worth over RS 3½ crore was looted from the poor adivasis during the murderous campaign of Salwa Judum (so-called shanti yatra) since June last to February, 2006. Led by feudal gangster and the pet-dog of Marvari traders lobby, Big capitalists and imperialists, Mahendra Karma; Ram Vichar Netam, the state Home Minister and police and central security forces are invading the hamlets of revolutionary masses of Bastar (Dantewada, Bastar and Kanker) and taking up mopping up (destroy all, loot all and kill all) campaigns. More than fifteen thousand people were forcefully displaced and forced to stay in the slavish like concentration camps of the mercenary armed forces and local reactionary armed gangs. The government, in order to cover up its heinous campaign, has launched a big false propaganda campaign claiming that Salwa Judum is a people’s revolt against the armed hegemony and atrocities of the Naxalites. The media, particularly of Chhattisgarh, is trying to manufacture the consent for this campaign of terror by spreading blatant lies and falsehood and willfully suppressing the truth. While the facts are quite opposite.
Following are the main findings of the all India fact-finding team consisting of PUCL Chhattisgarh and Jharknhand, PUDR, Delhi APDR, West Bengal and IAPL (Indian association of peoples lawyer) about the Salwa Judum:
[An all India team looking into the reality of the alleged violations of human rights and its impact on people’s lives in the course of the Salwa Judum in Dantewada district conducted an investigation between 28 th November and 1stDecember. The 14-member team met local people in camps as well as in their villages; people arrested during the operation, leaders of Salwa Judum, Police and Civil Administration officials (Collector, SDM) in between 28 th November and 1st December]
The Salwa Judum is far from the spontaneous uprising of tribals against Maoists that it is claimed to be. It is an organized, state managed enterprise that has precedents in the Jan Jagaran Abhiyans that have occurred earlier under the leadership of Mahendra Karma. The Collector himself has been part of 75% of the Salwa Judum meetings and security forces have been backing the Judum’s meetings. The main cadres of Salwa Judum are comprised of Special Police Officers who are being paid and armed by the state, at a rate that is standard in counter insurgency operations across the country.
The Salwa Judum has led to the forcible displacement of people throughout Dantewada, Geedam and Bijapur areas, under police and administrative supervision. According to official estimates approximately 15,000 people from 420 villages are living as refugees in temporary camps. People have left behind their cattle and most of their household goods. The entire area is being cleared of inhabitants even as new roads are being built and more police and para-military stations are being set up. The region is being turned into one large cantonment. In many places regular economic activities like weekly haats have stopped.
We observed a pattern in the dislocation: when Salwa Judum meetings are called, people from neighbouring villages are asked to be present. Heavy security forces accompany the meetings. Villages, which refuse to participate, face repeated attacks by the combined forces of Salwa Judum, the district force and the Naga battalion. In addition, there are separate raids by the Naga Battalion. These raids result in looting, arson and killings in many instances. In some villages, the raids continue till the entire village is cleared while in other cases, only old people, women and children are left. Many villages are coming to camps to avoid these attacks in the first place.
Once in camps, people have no choice but to support the Salwa Judum. Some of them are forced to work as informers against members of their own and neighbouring villages and participate in attacks against them, leading to permanent divisions within villages. Individual families are sometimes being split between Judum supporters and those who wish to remain in their villages. We also came across instances where the Salwa Judum took young people away from the village and their families are unaware of their whereabouts.
It is frightening to note the collapse of civil administration in many parts of Dantewada District. Salwa Judum members man checkpoints on roads, search people’s belongings and control the flow of traffic and buses. They enforce an economic blockade on villages that resist coming to camps. They also try to force civil officials to follow their dictat.
FIRs registering the looting, burning, beatings/torture by Salwa Judum mobs and the security forces are not recorded. We were told of specific instances where Security Forces threw dead bodies inside or near villages. These killings are not reported, and therefore hard to corroborate. Some reports suggest that 96 people from 34 villages have been killed. However, the only killings that are officially recorded are those by Maoists. In the period since Salwa Judum started, it is true that the killings by Maoists have gone up substantially and the official figure today stands at 70. Rather than being a “peace mission” as is claimed, the Salwa Judum has created a situation where violence has escalated.
The Salwa Judum is strongly supported by certain sections of Bastar society. This section comprises of some non-adivasi immigrant settlers from other parts of India, sarpanches and traditional leaders whose power has been threatened by the Maoists, powerful local politicians like Karma, and his network of supporters. Both the local Congress and the BJP are supporting the Salwa Judum together.
In AP, state-sponsored terrorism became one of the chief means of suppressing the revolutionary movement. The lumpen gangs, which call themselves Nallamala Tigers, Narsa Cobras, Green Tigers, Kranti sena, Kakatiya Tigers, Palnadu Tigers, Nayeem gang, etc., were set up, equipped, and trained by the SIB. These gangs had brutally murdered several leaders of democratic organizations and family members of revolutionaries under the direction of the YSR fascist government.
In Jharkhand, the SP of East Sighbhum had openly declared sendra (collective hunting) against Naxalites in 2003 itself and the feudal goondas-police combine killed 9 Maoists in Lango village. In Giridih and Saranda area in West Singhbhum, the former Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Babulal Marandi, and his brother had organized several gram raksha dals forcing muslims to be in the forefront thereby making them scapegoats. Nagarik Suraksha Samiti, Gram Suraksha Samithi and Shanti Sena are being formed in Jharkhand.
In Bihar, the massacres by private armies of the feudal forces, aided and abetted by the state, are well known. Ranaveer Sena, Lorik Sena, Brahmarshi Sena, Sunlight Sena etc., were used extensively against the revolutionaries and the struggling masses. Although the revolutionary people defeated most of these senas, the state has been trying to revive Ranveer Sena and others.
Thus Salwa Judum and sendra are part of the bigger plan of plundering the entire region from Jharkhand to AP without hindrance. The police, para-military and army act as the yes-men of POSCO, Tata, Jindal, Mittal, Ruia, World Bank and various imperialist powers and pounce on the revolutionary movement branding all those democratic forces struggling against their exploitation as “terrorists”. This is but natural as in the past year alone, MOUs of over Rs. 3,00,000 crores were signed by these business houses and the imperialists in Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Orissa alone . The massacre of 12 adivasis in Kalinga Nagar industrial area in Orissa on January 2nd shows the pre-hatched conspiracy of the imperialist-big business-bureaucrat-politician criminal combine to spread terror among the adivasis and subdue their protests . The ferocity of the white terror reflects the insatiable greed of the imperialist vultures and the big business houses for mineral and forest wealth.
The huge mining and extraction industries being set up by these houses, the hydel, irrigation and multi-purpose projects being built with the aid of the World Bank, the so-called social forestry in the adivasi areas do not lead to ‘development’ but ‘destruction’. Destruction of the forests, pollution of the rivers and environment and the plunder of the vast mineral wealth of the country by the mining mafia—such is the result of the neo-liberal LPG policies pursued by the ruling classes in league with the imperialists, who leave no stone unturned to suppress the local adivasis and the revolutionaries to achieve their greedy ends.
The people of our country face a clear choice — and that is not between so called peace and ‘terrorism’, but between the rule of this mafia led by the imperialists and that of the masses led by the democratic and revolutionary forces. The lines are clearly being drawn; all must decide where they stand.
The Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) calls upon the people and demands:
1. Stop State and State-sponsored Terror in the name of Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh!
2. Fight to Scrap the Steel Plants and Mining industries in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Orissa!
3. Punish the police officials responsible for the Kalinga Nagar massacre! Hand back all lands snatched from the adivasis in the name of development!
4. Stop all fake encounters, arrests, torture and harassment of Maoists and their sympathizers; disband armed private lumpen gangs.
5. Scrap all Black acts and stop infringement of the fundamental rights of citizens!
6. Fight against the imperialist-dictated LPG policies that are ruining the lives of the masses!
Dr. Darshan Pal
Vice President, Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)
67-A, Rameshwar Nagar
Azad Pur, Delhi