Paramilitary massacres 12 Adivasi farmers in Chhattisgarh, India

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The Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), an alliance of democratic organizations in India, condemned the Indian state paramilitary forces for the massacre of 12 Adivasi (indigenous) farmers on May 11 in Bijabur, Chhattisgarh, India. To escape its responsibility for the heinous crime, the state claimed that the victims were fighters and members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) who were killed in an encounter .

FACAM said it received information that the victims were residents of Pedia community, in Gangaloor, Bijapur. Local residents even stated that the victims were only gathering leaves, a tradition of Adivasi farmers during the season. The residents even witnessed how the paramilitaries apprehended, dragged and then extrajudicially killed their neighbors.

Not satisfied with the crime, state forces detained activists, widows of the victims, their children and families who were supposed to collect the remains of the massacred. At least 30 Adivasi farmers were detained. They were even paraded as Maoist “surrenderers” to claim bounties. Only twenty-five of them have been released. “The Bijapur District Collector also did not hand over the remains of those killed,” FACAM said.

The group insisted that the massacre in Bijapur is not an isolated incident. It said this is part of a more intensified war against the Indian people under Operation Kagaar which is being implemented in Abujmaad, a mountainous and forested area in the south of Chhattisgarh state. This operation is part of the comprehensive Operation SAMADHAN-Prahar counter-insurgency operation against the CPI (Maoist).

FACAM said fake encounters are commonly used as covers by the Indian state to justify heaping violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.

“The Indian state’s “war against Naxalism” is practically a genocidal war against the people, particularly the Adivasi peasants who are resisting corporate plunder of India’s natural resources, the grabbing of their lands for imperialist and big Indian corporate interests and rampant militarization,” the group said.

AB: Paramilitary massacres 12 Adivasi farmers in Chhattisgarh, India