Press Statement on latest attacks by state forces on Adivasis in Chattisgarh

March 19, 2011

Reports have been pouring in about a large-scale campaign of murder, rape and arson in adivasi villages carried out in the last few days by the Indian Government’s armed forces and Special Police Officers (SPOs) of Salwa Judum in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh.

According to these reports made by activists, local media reporters and other reliable sources, in the latest wave of repression under Operation Green Hunt, a large group of paramilitary, state police and SPOs have attacked many adivasi villages. On 11 March 2011, the government’s armed forces attacked Morepalli village and burnt down 35 houses. One adivasi villager – Marvi Sula – was murdered by them. After this, the next day these forces attacked Timapur village, and from there they went around and burnt another 50 villages. On 16 March, the same group of armed forces and SPOs attacked Tadimetla village, raped five women, and gutted 207 houses. One of the raped women, Marvi Jogi, was brutally murdered by mutilating her with knifes and sharp weapons. After their houses being burnt, the villagers are living in the open, taking shelter under trees. They have nothing to eat, all their belongings having been burnt down by the state forces.

This latest onslaught on the adivasi people of Chhattisgarh by the Indian State, carefully hidden from the outside world, call for a strong protest from all the democratic and progressive sections of the society to compel the state from putting an immediate stop to this extermination campaign. The perpetrators of this crime, be it the paramilitary personnel or SPOs at the ground or the police officers, bureaucrats and political heads who have planned these atrocities, must be brought to book so that truth and justice does not become the casualty in the Indian State’s war against the people of Central and Eastern India.

SAR Geelani, G N Saibaba, Mrigank

Convenors,

Forum Against War on People