Maoists killed thousands of adivasis: Govt claim

Maoists have killed “thousands” of innocent adivasis and this “tragic reality” is glossed over by Maoist Front organisations and their “apologists in towns and cities”, Union Home Ministry said in Lok Sabha on August 5, an assertion questioned by activists.

In a written reply to questions on influence of naxalism on tribals, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said Maoists kill civilians after branding them as police informers and claimed that an overwhelming number of them were tribals.

Out of the 4,955 civilians killed by Maoists between 2004 and 2014 (up to July 15), Rijiju said, an “overwhelming majority” were tribals.

Then he went on to say that the “Maoists have in reality killed thousands of innocent Adivasis, whose cause they profess to espouse”.

“This tragic reality is glossed over by the Maoist Front organisations and their apologists in towns and cities who have launched a propaganda war against the Indian state and project Maoists as the champions of Adivasis,” Rijiju said.

(Interesting!!!. Thousands!!! but MHA does not have the figures. Shouldn’t they have it?)

The Minister also said the idea behind recruiting tribal children into their fold was to “wean them away” from their “rich traditional cultural moorings”.

Official statistics released by Home Ministry earlier said Maoists have lost around 150 armed cadres in encounters with police in the past 18 months besides 2,500 others arrested or surrendered.

Reacting to Rijiju’s statement, Rona Wilson, Public Relations Secretary of Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), said no movement could sustain itself by terrorising people. CRPP was described earlier by the Union Home Ministry as a Maoist front organisation.

“Had it been so, the Maoists would’ve been finished by now as they being alienated from the adivasis will be sitting ducks before the state paramilitary. To portray adivasis as being held at gunpoint by the Maoists is to deny the adivasis their own history of relentless revolts against all their oppressors from the days of colonial oppression,” he told Deccan Herald.

He claimed that the heavy presence of paramilitary forces has actually criminalized the everyday lives of tribals.

Kavita Krishnan, Polit Bureau member of CPI(ML), said her party and rights organisations like PUDR had unequivocally condemned the targeting of civilians by Maoists. She said the question is what about the tribals killed by security officials.

Aug 5, 2014

Response from Rona Wilson:

As far as government’s own admissions it is own record that the government have been spending money to maintain and develop informer networks. The earmarked fund is often unaccounted and run into thousands of crores. Apart from this is the maintenance of the youth who took part in the Salwa Judum despite the order of the Supreme Court to disband them. There’s also a FICCI report chaired by Rajiv Chandrasekhar which calls for developing similar vigilante gangs in other states too.

The Maoists themselves in many of their interviews and statements have clarified that they don’t kill any and every informer and the magnitude of the punishment is determined by the gravity of the damage / losses / hardships inflicted to their cadre as well as supporters and the villagers. The magnitude of the punishment is decided in the Janatana Sarkar courts as stated by the Maoists. Regarding recruitment of children the Maoists are already on record that they don’t take children to their PLGA.
Besides any movement can’t sustain itself by terrorizing the people. Had it been so the Maoists would’ve been finished by now as they being alienated from the adivasis will be sitting ducks before the state paramilitary. To portray adivasis as being held at gunpoint by the Maoists is to deny the adivasis their own history of relentless revolts against all their oppressors from the days of colonial oppression. The paramilitary forces on the ground have several times admitted that it is difficult to separate the adivasis from the Maoists or vice versa. The heavy presence of paramilitary forces (one of the largest deployment in the world) has actually criminalized the everyday lives of the adivasis. It is to eyewash the unending crimes of the state and further brutalize the lives of the adivasis that the grave socio economic questions concerning the adivasis and their future is being portrayed as a law and order question!
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