We see obfuscation of the various illegal processes undertaken by the Chhattisgarh government and corporate interests to alienate people from their lands in several villages of the state, cleverly masked by news headlines that scream of encounters and surrenders. Standing in the way of this naked state-corporate greed are the original inhabitants of these areas — the adivasis who have forever been denied their rightful claim in the “development” of this country.
The rare sight that Delhi witnessed on September 5, with workers, peasants and the farmers marching decisively demanding a fair share in the growing economy of the country, is a cry for help. They are demanding implementation of MSP in accordance with the Swaminathan Committee report, irrigation facility as well as loan waivers. Workers are demanding better conditions and salaries. But it’s also a war cry. The present ruling government has been sent an ultimatum before the 2019 general elections. Will things change?
In a ‘historic’ encounter, as was reported by the DIG, Anti-Naxal Squad, DM Awasthi, 15 ‘Maoists’ were shot dead in Sukma by the District Regional Guards (DRG) on the early morning of August 6, 2018. However, the villagers from Gompad, Nulkatong, Vellpocha, Kinderpad and Etagata have a completely different story to tell — stories of haunting memories of the past and terror of today. Accompanying a fact-finding team called for by the adivasi activist Soni Sori to look into the incident, The Leaflet’s Kritika Agarwal heard and recorded the unspeakable stories as recounted by the eyewitnesses, as she came face-to-face with the terrifying and recurring truth of unparalleled violence on innocents perpetrated in the name of security.