CPIML – Liberation statement on Operation Green Hunt

Press Statement by CPI (ML) – Liberation
New Delhi, September 20 2009

Halt paramilitary offensive in Chhattisgarh
Halt ‘Operation Green Hunt’

War on the people cannot bring peace to Bastar
Disbanding Salwa Judum and ensuring rights of adivasi people is the only road to peace

The paramilitary offensive launched in Bastar by CoBRA battalions along with State police is a matter of grave concern for all those who seek the return of peace in the region. The experience of counter-insurgency offensives in other parts of the country as well as that of the past few years in Chhattisgarh itself have clearly shown that paramilitary ‘cleansing operations’ never bring peace or end militancy. In effect, such operations have invariably spelt a war on the people, with mass scale violations of human rights, and have been quite ineffective in checking military actions by Maoists or insurgent groups.

The UPA Government, by sponsoring a militaristic offensive in Bastar and backing up the Chhattisgarh Government in the patronage of a private militia (the Salwa Judum), is not even heeding the recommendations of the Expert Committee appointed by the Planning Commission. In its report submitted in early 2008, this Committee had explicitly counseled against ineffective militaristic solutions, pointing instead to a “socio-economic malaise” caused by State’s failure to ensure basic Constitutional entitlements to the poorest and most deprived of people.

In a highly irresponsible manner, the Home Ministry is accompanying its offensive with screaming ads displaying photographs claimed to be victims of ‘naxalites’ who, the ad claims are “nothing, but cold-blooded murderers.” Civilian killings by Naxalites are indefensible. But killings of innocents by the State, in order to brand them as extremists in death, is surely a far more heinous offense. The Home Ministry is silent on the numerous ‘encounters’ in Bastar, where villagers have identified the victims as innocent adivasis rather than ‘dreaded naxalites’. The Ishrat Jehan case has emphasized that ‘encounters’ which are yet to proved genuine by a judicial enquiry are all too likely to be fake. Are fake encounters not cold-blooded murders? An estimated 2 lakh adivasi people of Bastar have been rendered homeless since the launch of the Salwa Judum offensive in 2005. There have been several charges of rape and loot against leaders of the Salwa Judum. What passes for the ‘counterinsurgency’ operation in Chhattisgarh is clearly nothing but a war on the people.

The only road to peace in Bastar, in this situation, can be for the State and central Governments to immediately put an end to the war on the people by private militia (Salwa Judum) and paramilitary; to ensure the return of the displaced adivasis to their villages; and guarantee of their rights to land, livelihood and life.

Prabhat Kumar,
For CPI(ML) Central Committee
Communist Party of India (ML) Liberation

U-90 Shakarpur
Delhi – 110092
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Web-site: www.cpiml.org