Varavara Rao: “It’s a war against Adivasis”

Revolutionary poet accuses Centre of fake encounter and military repression in Dandakaranya

Revolutionary writer Varavara Rao came down heavily on the BJP-led Central government accusing it of unleashing “genocide” against Adivasis across the Dandakaranya to allow imperialist forces loot the mineral wealth of the forest region.

“The killing of more than 70 revolutionary cadres in a spate of fake encounters in the forest region spanning Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh in the past few days bears testimony to the brutal repression launched by the dictatorial regime at the helm to crush people’s struggles,” he said.

Let the Centre declare the Dandakaranya region as a “conflict area” since the State forces are unleashing “massive repression” using lethal artillery such as under-barrel grenade launchers against Adivasis forming the core of revolutionary cadres, turning the entire forest region into a “war zone,” he alleged. The National Human Rights Commission and International Human Rights Groups like Amnesty International should look into the allegations of brazen violation of human rights in Dandakaranya spanning the rivers such as Indravathi in Maharashtra to the Godavari in Telangana, he said.

Mr. Rao was speaking to media persons along with the members of the Amarula Bandhu Mitrula Sangham here on Friday.

He alleged that the Khammam police had imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC till May 8 to prevent the meeting proposed by the Sangham against the “State violence and encounter killings” originally slated for April 28 in the town. “This amounts to suppression of the freedom of expression,” he said, noting that there is a judgment according to which police permission is not required for hall meetings. How come there are no restrictions on the massive mobilisation for the ruling party’s plenary meeting when the prohibitory orders are in force, he questioned.

“A lunch motion was moved in the High Court in Hyderabad today and the court directed the Khammam police to give a report detailing the reasons for the denial of permission within 48 hours. The Sangham has now decided to meet the Khammam Police Commissioner to convey the fresh dates for the meeting tentatively proposed on May 9 or 12,” Mr. Rao said. “The meeting involving a host of Adivasi, civil rights and women activists will be held to commemorate the victims of the Pujari Kanker gruesome incident of State violence,” he said.

“As many as seven women Maoist cadres were killed in the recent fake encounter in Pujari Kanker and several women cadres were believed killed in today’s incident in Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh bordering Jayashankar-Bhupalpalli district of Telangana,” he said. Alleging that the Telangana police were venturing into the Chhattisgarh in the name of operations beyond their jurisdiction, he said the situation in Dandakaranya region warrants fact-finding visits by international human rights and aid organisations such as Asia Watch, Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders.


C. Kistler

Also editor of Nouvelle Turquie.