Since the initiation of Salwa Judum, Padyatras or rallies in which armed SPOs and Salwa Judum members set out to ‘persuade’ villages to join them and root out sangham members, have been used to take Salwa Judum to new areas. These padyatras have always left a trail of blood and gore behind them. Salwa Judum members and SPOs loot, rape and burn houses and villages at will. Anybody who shows reluctance in leaving behind their house, fields and villages and joining Salwa Judum or going to the so called relief camps are accused of being sangham members and tortured or killed. The padyatras were often flagged off the District Collector, Superintendent of Police or Mahendra Karma who is one of the people responsible for the on-going genocide of Adivasis in south Bastar.
Media reports over the past few weeks say that Karma is planning to restart these padyatras, this time from the interiors of Bijapur district and neighbouring Dantewada. Though all this is done in the name of ‘rooting’ out Naxalites, what it will inevitably unleash another round of violence, brutality on the ordinary citizens of Dantewada and Bijapur.