Civil activists condemn violence on tribals in Bastar

Civil activists condemn violence on tribals in Bastar
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City-based civil activists on Sunday condemned the atrocities on Dalits and Adivasis in Bastar (Chhattisgarh) and cautioned that places like Karimnagar and Warangal, which have huge tribal settlements, could be targeted if the issue is not put in public domain properly.

Hyderabad: City-based civil activists on Sunday condemned the atrocities on Dalits and Adivasis in Bastar (Chhattisgarh) and cautioned that places like Karimnagar and Warangal, which have huge tribal settlements, could be targeted if the issue is not put in public domain properly.

The activists were speaking at a round table conference organised by Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) here in the city on Sunday. They alleged that violence against people in Bastar had increased significantly in the past few months. They said the violence that occurred in the last three months was strategically planned and the recent attacks on an Adivasi leader Soni Soori and an independent journalist Malini Subramanium and the incidents of eviction of advocates from Bastar were part of a big conspiracy.

Advocate Isha Khandelwal, who was forcibly evicted from Bastar, said the violence by the security forces in Bastar had increased. “Sexual assaults on women, killing of men and children and destroying of rations of the tribals have become very common. The judicial sytem has become very helpless,” she said.

Isha said the number of people in tribal villages was drastically coming down and several of them were missing after excesses by security forces. “Journalists, civic leaders and advocates are being harassed and forcibly evicted because the government doesn’t want the truth to come out,” she said.

An eminent journalist and activist C Vanaja said the security forces and the Chhattisgarh government were making way for MNCs to occupy lands and forcing tribals and Adivasis to leave by accusing them of being Maoists. “In the name of Operation Green Hunt, villages are being vacated. These poor villagers are forced to leave their lands to accommodate billionaires,” she said.

Many activists in the city participated in the conferences and extended their support to deal with the problems being faced by locals in Bastar.

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