Since the past 10 months from June 2005 the Chhattisgarh government under Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Raipur, actively aided by the Congress-led UPA government in Delhi, had unleashed a brutal military campaign under the smokescreen of peace campaign or salwa judum. In this short period, around 670 adivasi (tribal) villages and hamlets were either completely or partially burnt, or their inhabitants completely evacuated in Dantewara district alone. A band of hooligans and gangsters have been propped up by the politicians and officials to carry out most heinous activities on the people particularly adivasis. Over 150 adivasis were murdered in cold blood by the security forces and salwa judum gangsters. Crores of rupees worth of property of the poor adivasis was destroyed.
And, while carrying out such atrocities on adivasi people, government has been incessantly propagating lies and falsehoods that adivasis had risen up against the Maoists. Huge incentives are given to the participants in the salwa judum campaign. Special police officers are created from among adivasis, paid attractive salaries, and deployed against the people. Several battalions of central para-military forces are deployed besides the local special police forces. Recently National Security Gaurds commandos were sent to step up this terror campaign. Plans are drawn up for deploying the Indian Army to attack the interior areas of Chhattisgarh and adjoining regions and to complete the destruction of the interior adivasi villages.
The sole aim of this campaign is to destroy entire villages and forcibly evacuate the adivasis, heap them into so-called rehabilitation camps; murder Maoists and various people's organisation members and anyone suspected of having links with, or showing sympathy for, the Maoist movement; in several hundred villages in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, and re-establish the authority of the tribal chiefs and feudal forces whom the people had overthrown through their struggles; step up the exploitation by the big industrialists, unscrupulous contractors and traders, corrupt bureaucrats, police officers and forest officials, whose unbridled plunder was put on leash by the awakened adivasis. The government has resorted to wholesale destruction of adivasi villages as it had miserably failed to gain any support from adivasis against the Maoists.
The government plans to resettle all these people in new villages and not allow them to go back to their native villages with a view to clear the entire region where Maoists operate. The Raman Singh government in Chhathisgarh has approached the Centre for allotment of funds to the tune of Rs. 500 crores for the purpose of resettlement. 46,000 adivasis have already been shifted out of their villages and thrown into the government-run camps where they live under miserable conditions. It also plans to penetrate deeper into the interior and clear up the entire population living in the Abhujmaad area. To achieve this end it is planning to deploy army battalions and army helicopters to simultaneously strike from air and ground at the Maoists and the people of this area.
We appeal to you to intervene and instruct the central and state governments who are involving in this uprooting of the indigenous tribal communities and destroy their economic, social and cultural life and their rich heritage that has been in existence for thousands of years. Your active intervention will help the hapless adivasi people to preserve their traditional society, culture and their homes. We appeal to you to express your disapproval of the anti-adivasi policies pursued by the state and central governments and counsel the governments to abandon their plan to destroy the tribal way of life in the name of salwa judum.
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