SFR condemns the cold blooded murder of 20 innocent tribals of Bijapur, Chattisgarh by the fascist Indian State. The Chhattisgarh police and the Central Reserve Police Force claim to have killed 20 guerillas of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). About six hundred troopers from the Central Reserve Police Force and the Combat Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) commando unit conducted an operation in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district. The Chattisgarh police claimed it to be the biggest encounter in the recent period, the villagers are offering totally a different description of the incident. According to the villagers the security forces fired at the peaceful gathering of villagers killing 20 of them, including five children aged 12-15, and sexually assaulted at least four teenaged girls during the encounter. The ten among those killed were in the age group of 15-28 years. “We had gathered to discuss the upcoming seed festival, which is held every year before sowing begins” said Madkam Ganpat of Rajpetta. He said the meeting continued for several hours, when the participants were suddenly surrounded by a large contingent of the security forces. “The forces immediately opened fire, all of us tried to run away but many were shot in the legs, back and chest,” he said. The firing lasted several minutes, the villagers said, after which the forces radioed for a tractor that took away a number of bodies. “The force then camped in the village and dragged me into the fields,” said a 14-year-old girl in an interview. “They threw me on the ground, beat me, kicked me, tore my clothes and kept threatening to rape me.” She said three other girls were similarly molested. “The force remained on the fields till the next morning,” said Irpa Raju. “My son Ramesh stepped out of the house to go to the toilet when he was shot by a policeman. Ramesh ran to the house, shouting ‘Ayo, Ayo [Mother, Mother,]’ but the force followed him and killed him in our house, in front of my eyes.” Raju also accused the policemen of breaking open the family treasure chest and stealing Rs.5,000.
Yesterday, Home Minister P Chidambaram said three important Maoist leaders, Mahesh, Nagesh and Somulu, had been killed in the encounter. There is no Mahesh in the official list of those killed. There are two Nageshes. Kaka Nagesh, also called Rahul, was a 17-year-old student of Class 10. The other Nagesh, Madkam Nagesh, was a 32-year-old professional dholak player who was called in to play during festivals, villagers said. None of those killed in the encounter had any criminal record at Barsaguda police station, in whose jurisdiction the three villages fall namely Sarkeguda, Kotteguda and Rajapetta. Policemen at the station said they knew nothing about their being Naxalites.
All the alleged “hardcore Maoists” seemed to have been living with their families in the three villages. The thana is virtually next door, and a large CRPF camp stands only three kilometres away. The CoBRA team alleged faced “heavy firing” from them for three hours — but could recover only one bharmar (countrymade gun) along with the 19 bodies. The media (Sunday Express) reported the statement of the Commander of Basaguda Area Committee of the CPI (Maoist) statement, “if they (security forces) killed 21 Naxals in one encounter, do you think we would not be able to kill at least some of them? Have they ever killed so many of us in one go?”
It is very much clear that the way the whole massacre was conducted is nothing but Operation Green Hunt intensified through Operation Vijaya and Operation Hakka. It is quite evident that after the phase of "Salwa Judum" and the phase of "Operation Green Hunt", anti-Naxal operations have entered a new phase variously called "Operation Haka" and "Operation Vijay". This Operation took place in the Abujhmaad/Maad area fairly deep in the forests; a large number of joint paramilitary forces about 3000 in number participated. While the police reports speak of Naxalite camps destroyed, Maoists encountered and arrested, the reality is that houses were burnt down, adivaasi villagers were beaten, including beaten to death, and those arrested have not been produced before courts. During the phase of "Salwa Judum" about 500 deaths were documented on affidavit in a part of South Bastar alone. Another list of 192 extra judicial killings, alleged to have occurred in Dantewada during Operation Green Hunt, between 2009 and 2011. This is the official number. The actual number is more. Chattisgarh is not the only place where the brutality of the security forces got exposed. All over the country the security forces and police is engaged in killing tribals and dalits. Under the garb of ‘terrorism’ the Indian State is heavily engaged in minority witch hunting. And for tribals it is the ‘maoism’. The names may be different, but the agenda of the Indian State is to silence the dissenting voices against the corporate loot, caste atrocities and communal violence. The security forces are facing a militant resistance from the people of Kashmir and North-East. The story everywhere is same. Therefore the narration propagated by the security forces regarding the killing of 20 tribals in Chattisgarh is nothing but a farce lie. Even if they were Maoists, it does not give any licence to the State to kill them. Maoism does not emerges out of the fantasy but from the State Repression in various forms. So it is the structural violence that is responsible for its emergence. Once again we condemn the massacre Down with State Repression! . D