ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Counter-insurgency and the Law

The depredations of Salwa Judum have attracted more tribal peasants into the ranks of the Maoist guerrilla army.

Will the security forces and the state-sponsored vigilante gangs engaged in counter-insurgency in the Maoist heartland ever desist from killing and maiming innocent people, raping women, looting or destroying people’s property and burning their dwelling units? Will the unconstitutionally established, state-sponsored vigilante gangs ever be disbanded? The report of a 13-member fact-finding team of the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee and other civil and democratic rights organisations on the atrocities perpetrated on unarmed adivasis by the Central Reserve Police Force and special police officers of the Salwa Judum in the Chintalnar area of Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh between 11 and 16 March suggests heinousness of a kind reserved for those deemed to be supporters of the Maoists.

Media access to the affected villages of Tadmetla, Timapuram and Morupalli has been denied, even as Chhattisgarh’s home minister could brazenly say in the state assembly that it was the Maoists who had attacked the villagers and burnt their homes in order to divert the attention of the police who were on an “area domination exercise” at the time. The political representatives of the dominant classes surely ought to be concerned about the fact that such operations are counterproductive in terms of the very objectives of the counter-insurgency.

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