[Reader-list] Invitation-People's Convention on Salwa Judum:Civil War in Chhattisgarh

sridevi panikkar whitenoise24 at gmail.com
Sat Aug 25 21:17:13 IST 2007

Apologies for cross posting. Please do join and circulate further



*Campaign for Peace and Justice in Chhattisgarh  *

Invites you to a

*People's Convention *

*On *

 *Salwa Judum: Civil war in Chhattisgarh*

*4th September 2007, 2 p.m. onwards*


Hindi Bhawan, Vishnu Digambar Marg New Delhi

(Near Gandhi Peace Foundation, ITO)

Please find the background note attached below. We will be sending you the
programme schedule shortly.

We look forward to your participation.

In Solidarity,

Campaign for Peace and Justice in Chhattisgarh


In the summer of 2005, news reports started appearing of a 'spontaneous',
'self-initiated',' peaceful', 'people's movement' in Dantewada district of
Chhattisgarh against the Naxalites, known as the Salwa Judum. The district
administration claims that upset with the Maoist strike call on collecting *
tendu* leaves and opposition to development works like road construction and
grain levies, people in some 200 villages began mobilizing against the
Maoists, going on processions and holding meetings.

However, this picture of the Salwa Judum is far from accurate. The fact is
that the Salwa Judum is being led by sections of local elites, contractors
and traders, that it is officially part of the official anti-naxal
initiatives, being actively supported by the Chhattisgarh Government. Far
from being a peaceful campaign, Salwa Judum activists are armed with guns, *
lathis*, axes, bows and arrows. Up to January 2007, 4048 "Special Police
Officers" (SPOs) had been appointed by the Government under the Chhattisgarh
Police Regulations. They actively participate in the Salwa Judum and are
given military and weapons training by the security forces as part of an
official plan to create a civil vigilante structure parallel to that of the

Over the last two years, more than 1, 00,000 people have been displaced,
their lives completely disrupted, because of Salwa Judum. People are
forcibly picked up from their villages and are confined into 'relief camps',
where they face acute shortage of food, water and other basic amenities and
people are forced to live in extremely unsanitary conditions. The condition
of several thousands who have been forced to migrate to neighbouring states
and districts is even worse.

There has been a complete breakdown of civil administration and the rule of
law in Dantewada district and Salwa Judum 'activists' have become vigilantes
who assert the right to control, intimidate and punish anyone they consider
to be a suspected Naxalite. Cases of murder, loot, arson, rape and other
violence and atrocities by Salwa Judum go unreported. The Government does
not accept responsibility for the actions of the Salwa Judum 'activists', it
sponsors, encourages, promotes and assures them full state protection and
grants them impunity to operate as an extra-legal authority within the

The Government's only response to Maoist insurgency has been to militatrise;
step up police operations and to pit civilians, in the name of Salwa Judum,
against Maoists and against each other. By resorting to such measures, the
government has seriously challenged the efficacy of democratic and
constitutional means of finding solutions to people's problems. It has
completely failed to address the root of the discontent, the deprivation and
alienation of Adivasis, which form basis of the Maoist foothold in
Dantewara.  Even according to states government's own figures, Salwa Judum
has only intensified the conflict.

*About CPJC:*

The Campaign for Peace and Justice in Chhattisgarh is a campaign group
formed by individuals and organisations who are deeply concerned about the
flagrant violation of human rights going on in Chhattisgarh in the name of
fighting "internal terrorism". We are extremely concerned by the violence
unleashed by the state backed Salwa Judum which has pushed Chhattisgarh into
a civil war situation and the repressive Chhattisgarh Special Public
Security Act, 2005 which is being used to crush all voices of dissent in the

*Contact us: *

Email: cpjcindia at gmail.com; Website: www.cpjc.wordpress.com

Pravin Mote: 011-26964946; Goldy George: 011-26195534; Sridevi Panikkar:

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