Statement by Peoples’ Movements and Concerned Citizens on Rani Bodli Attack

16 March 2007

We strongly condemn the massacre of police men and SPOs in Rani Bodli camp by the CPI (Maoist), in which 54 people were killed.

At the same time, we strongly condemn the Government’s policy of militarization in Chhattisgarh and its support for the Salwa Judum, which is an unaccountable militia. The Security forces and Salwa Judum have been killing people and burning villages. A large number of rapes have been reported. All democratic institutions have failed to take up this issue and the Maoists are now brutally retaliating.

We strongly object to the government’s use of using schools and ashram shalas as camps and the use of SPOs as human shields in the war against Naxalites. The government’s policy of miltarisation is clearly counterproductive. Law and order has broken down in Chhattisgarh, killings have increased by both sides and ordinary people are suffering. The BJP Government of Raman Singh has lost its credibility to continue in office since it has failed to protect the lives of the common people.

We object to the land acquisition that is taking place in Chhattisgarh under the cover of the ongoing violence in the state. TATAs, ESSAR and several other companies are getting the state government to act like their agent in this. From different tribal/dalit organisations in the state we learn that the BJP government has been violating all constitutional norms and legal systems blatantly to aid this brutal land grab.

We demand:

  1. that all paramilitary and security forces be withdrawn from adivasi areas
  2. the government declare a ceasefire with Maoists
  3. Salwa Judum should be immediately withdrawn
  4. People should be enabled to go back to their villages from so called rehabilitation camps
  5. An independent commission be set up to enquire into and punish all violations whether by the government, Maoists or Salwa Judum
  6. All land acquisitions (ongoing and planned) in the state be put on hold immediately
  7. State government to respect public hearings and people’s verdicts and not to coerce people or Gram Sabhas to give land for projects

The following are the signatories:

Signature/Name Movement /Organisation

Arun Khote National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights

Medha Patkar National Alliance of People’s Movements

Nandini Sunder Professor, Delhi University

Rajendra Ravi NAPM, Delhi

Shreeprakash INSAF

Vijayan MJ Delhi Solidarity Group

Bijulaal M.V Indian Social Institute

Mukta Srivastava NAPM, Mumbai

Sumanya Velamur Initiative, Mumbai