Ranchi – Rally against Operation Green Hunt, June 25

June 24, 2010

Massive rally followed by public meeting.
Called by Operation Green Hunt Virodhi Nagarik Manch, Jharkhand, an umbrella group of many mass organizations in Jharkand

Venue – Jaipal Singh Stadium, Ranchi
Time – 11am

Leaflet for the rally, in Hindi

Friends,

The loot and ruthless extraction of tribal people’s resources and their eviction from the forest lands which started during British raj continues in independent India as well.

The inhuman conditions of tribal people, particularly those living in the eastern and central states of Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, and Maharashtra, have generated concerns among people who believe in justice and democracy for all. All these tribal regions are currently facing brutality of Operation Green Hunt (OGH). Under this offensive, the central and state governments have posted about 250,000 central para-military forces in these regions. These include units of the CRPF, IBT, CISF, BSF, Greyhound, Cobra, C 60, and National Rifles. Moreover, the government has been actively sponsoring and encouraging the formation and functioning of anti-people private militias like the Salwa Judum, SPO, Harmad Vahini, and Nagrik Surksha Samiti. As shown in Lalgarh, the government has also deployed American Satellites and Indian Air Forces for logistical support and surveillance. Simultaneously, the government has been using draconian laws such as UAPA and National Security Law to quell any dissenting voices. With OGH has also come a systematic suppression of protests against custodial deaths, fake encounters, torture and rape.

OGH has destroyed the lives and livelihood of people. Police has been burning down forests, and killing innocent and unarmed people. On 27th April 2010, police shot dead Jasminta Devi in village Ladi (thana Burwadih, district Latehar) in her sleep, and fired on and injured a cowherd in the same village. On 21st March 2010, some policemen assaulted Kumari Sabuni in the village of Rajyama (in Chowka thana, Chandil, Saraikela). Similarly, policemen forcibly entered into Kumari Matki’s house and raped her. In another incident, policemen looted 40,000 rupees and some utensils from Maga Singh Sardar’s house in Matakomdih. In the village of Chutiakhal, policemen looted 3500 rupees and utensils from Tutul Soren’s residence. While the police has returned the looted utensils, they have not returned the money. Physical and verbal abuse of villagers and visitors has become the norm. These are only a few examples of rampant police atrocities, all of which could not possibly be documented in this short pamphlet.

The stated objective of OGH is to finish off the Maoists and re-establish the sovereignty of the Indian State. In reality, the Indian ruling class is waging this war against the lives and livelihoods of millions of tribal people simply to secure and further the interests of multinational corporations. The global imperialist regime is in crisis. Both Indian and foreign corporations is attempting to create artificial demand for their products by stimulating the military-industrial complex. Simultaneously, this operation intends to dispossess the tribal population from their land to facilitate the unfettered plunder of natural resources. The key figures behind Operation Green Hunt are Manmohan Singh and P. Chidambaram. They are more than eager to hand over the means of livelihood of tribal people to multinational and Indian corporations and infamous domestic capitalists. In one of his statements to the Parliament in 2006, Manmohan Singh said: that “the activities of left wing extremists in mineral-rich regions have been harming the climate for foreign investments.” This clearly explains whose war the government is fighting and killing its own people for. At this moment, all criticisms of the government’s policies are being brutally crushed. Under the pretext of OGH, the government has implemented an undeclared emergency and it is flagrantly violating the democratic rights of the citizens granted by the Indian Constitution. There is an attempt to deny the freedom of speech and independent thinking. The mainstream media has virtually become a mouthpiece of the Indian government. In several areas of the country, every opposition to anti-people policies and criticism of the State is being labeled anti-development and anti-national.

With the formation of the Jharkhand in 2000, different state governments have been competing with each other to attract foreign investment and have signed numerous MOUs (memorandum of understandings). The state government in Jharkhand has already signed 101 MOUs with industrial houses like Mittals, Jindals, Tatas, Essar and several other Indian and foreign corporations (looters). Ever since 1947, natural resources of the tribal people have been plundered in the name of “national interest”. Their land and forest has been snatched for mega projects like dams and mining. From 1947 onwards, about 1,700,000 tribals of Jharkhand have been displaced; while mineral resources are extracted from their land, the people have to bear the pain of displacement.

It is for these reasons that tribal people have today refused to hand over their water, forest and land (jal, jungle, jameen) to these infamous corporations. Keeping alive their tradition of anti-imperialist struggles, the tribal people have risen up today to resist age-old exploitation and oppression. To protect their lives and livelihoods, they are fighting against mega projects. At places they are using their traditional weapons to resist State terror and at other places, they are using non-violent methods. OGH is merely an intensification of the on-going repression of the State. This operation will not be confined either to the tribal people or to the Maoists; it will be extended to all pro-people organizations and individuals who have been fighting for justice, and against exploitation, oppression, repression pro-imperialist policies of the State.

We demand that the Government of India immediately and unconditionally stop OGH and withdraw all military and paramilitary forces from Jharkhand and Central and Eastern parts of India. We demand the immediate cancellation of MOUs with Indian and foreign multinational corporations. The land grabbed for such projects should be returned to its rightful owners and the inalienable rights of the people over jal jungle jameen should be reaffirmed. In addition, the Central government should refrain from using the armed forces against any people’s movement. We appeal to all justice and peace-loving citizens to participate in this rally in large numbers and make this a resounding success.

Operation Green Hunt Virodhi Nagarik Manch