Are these anti-Naxal Operations Mr. Chidambaram?

By Gladson Dungdung[1]
28 March, 2011 

An Adivasi woman in her burnt house in Dantewada

India’s security budget grows up every year and even the economic crisis does not make any difference to it. The Indian government spends most of its money for the security of its own people. Apart from this, the government also has special budget allocation for dealing with the internal security threat and several state governments also spend the money on security, allocated for the Tribal Sub-plan. Ironically, the government (s) use the money to kill the Adivasis, which is supposed to be spent for their welfare and development. The innocent Adivasis are victimized most of the time in the process of dealing with the security threat. The fastest growing state of Chhatisgarh is the living example of it, where the Adivasis have been victimized by the paramilitary forces, local police and Koya Commandos (an armed Tribal police comprising of surrendered Maoists) but instead of taking action against the perpetrators, the state justifies their inhuman acts and shield them.

In the recent incident, Chhattisgarh’s Koya commandos, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and CoBRA battalions burnt more than 300 houses and food grains, raped 5 Adivasi women and killed 5 men of Timapuram, Morpalli and Tarmetla villages of Dantewada between March 11 and March 16, 2011 alleging them as the Maoists during the ongoing special police operations against the Maoists in the region. The security forces comprising of 200 Koyas, 150 CoBRA and 50 CRPF Jawans carried out intensive operations in the vicinity on the report of a surrendered Maoist, who claimed about the existence of Maoists’ arms factory at Morpalli village and also the intelligence inputs indicated about the presence of 100 Maoists in the vicinity.  However, the security forces neither find any arms factory nor the Maoists. The police also accepted that the people killed during the operations were not the Maoists but the villagers. Indeed, these people who were victimized by the security forces were neither Maoists nor their supporters but they were innocent people living in their ancestors’ villages. Can P. Chidambaram, the corporate Home Minister tell us what kinds of anti-naxal operations are these where innocent villagers were killed, women were raped and their houses, clothes and food-grains were burnt by the security forces? Continue reading

Will Anna Get Justice?

By Gladson Dungdung
17 March, 2011

Domestic Workers protesting in Ranchi

On March 14, 2011, more than thousand domestic workers especially women along with their children gathered near Albert Ekka Chauck, Ranchi the capital city of Jharkhand in demand of justice for Anna a domestic worker who died in a suspicious case. They started shouting slogans and began their march towards the office of Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Ranchi. They were shouting slogan “Anna Ko Nyay Do” (Give justice to Anna). They reached to collector’s office at 3 O’ clock in the afternoon. The police locked the entrance gate of the office. They were stop at the gate. K.K. Sone a well known IAS officer who is in the charge of Deputy Commissioner of Ranchi saw the crowd rushing towards his office, he ran away after assigning the job to the Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) for controlling, convincing and sending the crowd back. The women were sent back with the promise of hearing their plea. 

Of course, this is a regular practice in our democratic country the so-called largest democracy of the world. The legislative, the executive and the judiciary all of them become deaf and dumb whenever the marginalized people of this country demand for justice. When we approach to the Officers they run away and also protect the culprits. When we ask for an appointment to the Governors, they simply deny and when we approach to the Chief Ministers, they do not have time for us. Do I have to explain about our failed judiciary? Where should people go to plea for justice? However, all of them spare ample of time for the corporate delegates, contractors and bigwigs. Can anybody tell where these women should go and plea for justice in the corporate Indian State?    Continue reading

The State Sponsored Crime against Adivasis in Assam

By Gladson Dungdung


A woman in her burnt house at Lungsung

The Adivasis of Assam, whose ancestors had settled down in the land ‘around 150 years ago’[1] after they were forcefully brought from the state of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, West Bengal and Orissa have been facing the state sponsored crime against them since independence of India. They have been enjoying their rights and privilege before there was the state called ‘India’ or ‘Assam’. The state sponsored crime against the Adivasis began with the enforcement of the Indian constitution, which denied them their status as “Scheduled Tribe” though they had been enjoying the same right during the British rule. Thus, their identity was either confined to the tea-leaf, which they pluck or as outsider (migrant) labourers. Consequently, inhuman treatments were perpetrated on them by the state as well as the non-state actors. The ethnic cleansing of 1996-98, Beltola incident of 2007 and force eviction of 2010 are the classic examples of the state sponsored crime against Adivasis of Assam.  

In fact, the state whose prime responsibility is to protect and ensure the rights of everyone guaranteed by the Indian Constitution, has not only failed to meet its responsibilities but it has been discriminating, exploiting and torturing the Adivasis of Assam. Ironically, the Forest Department has been carrying on the eviction processes in Assam even after the enforcement of the Forest Rights Act 2006, which recognizes the rights of Adivasis over ‘the forests and forest lands’[2] from where they ensure their livelihood. This paper examines about the ground realities of the state sponsored crime against the Adivasis residing in Lungsung forest areas of Assam.  Continue reading