Since June 2005, the Government of Chhattisgarh, with the support of the Home Ministry has been waging a counter-insurgency operation against the Naxalites in the guise of a ‘spontaneous’, ‘selfinitiated’,’ peaceful’, ‘people’s movement’ named the Salwa Judum in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. The district administration claims that upset with the Maoist strike call on collecting tendu leaves and opposition to development works like road construction and grain levies, people in some 200 villages began mobilizing against the Maoists, going on processions and holding meetings.

However the fact is that the Salwa Judum is being actively supported by the Chhattisgarh Government. Far from being a peaceful campaign, Salwa Judum ‘activists’ are armed with guns, lathis, axes, bows and arrows. Up to January 2007, 4048 “Special Police Officers” (SPOs) had been appointed by the Government under the Chhattisgarh Police Regulations. They actively participate in the Salwa Judum and are given military and weapons training by the security forces as part of an official plan to create a civil vigilante structure parallel to that of the Naxalites.

Though exact figures are not known, over the last two years, atleast 1, 00,000 people have been displaced and the lives atleast 3, 00,000 people from the 644 “liberated villages” has been completely disrupted, because of Salwa Judum. People are forcibly picked up from their villages and are confined into ‘relief camps’, where they face acute shortage of food, water and other basic amenities. The condition of several thousands who have been forced to migrate to neighbouring states and districts is even worse. All those villages which have not come into camps are deemed “Maoists” villages and denied all health, education and other facilities, including access to markets. A large number of people have thus been denied their fundamental rights

There has been a complete breakdown of civil administration and the rule of law in Dantewada district and Salwa Judum ‘activists’ have become vigilantes who assert the right to control, intimidate and punish anyone they consider to be a suspected Naxalite. Cases of murder, loot, arson, rape and other violence and atrocities by Salwa Judum go unreported. The Government does not accept responsibility for the actions of the Salwa Judum ‘activists’, it sponsors, encourages, promotes and assures them full state protectionand grants them impunity to operate as an extra-legal authority within the district. The Maoists also retaliate with attacks on camps, SPOs and police. According to State government’s own figures, Salwa Judum has only intensified the violence from both sides.

The Government’s only response to Maoist insurgency has been to militatrise; step up police operations and to pit civilians, in the name of Salwa Judum, against Maoists and against each other. By resorting to such measures, the government has seriously challenged the efficacy of democratic and constitutional means of finding solutions to people’s problems. It has completely failed to address the root of the discontent, the deprivation and alienation of Adivasis, which form basis of the Maoist foothold in Dantewara.


44 Responses to “What is Salwa Judum?”

  1. Gautam Parihar Says:

    With due respect to all those who have lost their life, in the course of Salwa Judum, Iwould like to say that the report is to some extend bias in nature. I belong to a naxalism effected state (Jharkhand.)So I can understand the menace naxalists can do.

    1. adi Says:

      abey dhakkan..

      1. Major Pravin Says:

        i agree with you, it is not only biased it is wrong

    2. priyansh Says:

      you forget what salwa judam do in course of power . Power corrupts anybody , they harass tribals , do rapes, murder, looting. MOAISTS are just fighting for their own peoples rights from the very thousand years they in jungles and suddenly some told that you have to migrate from this area , ehat you think if somebody says from tomorrow just this land where you live . everybody is not convience with the same ideology . this report is not biased it just speaks truth . And you says you belongs from jharkhand dude you don’t know shit about the cultres of tribals . If you belong from jungles you don’t have internet or smartphones to be ido a comment . do your homework about this problem

  2. anju khemani Says:

    To G.P
    Nothing can justify arming children for combat. No menace can be THAT uncontrolable by adults. Adults who manage the State and adults who live in the state.
    I am also from Jharkhand

  3. Hi,

    As per my view, the Salwa Judum is a good initiative taken by the Chhattisgarh govt. However, the govt. should check on regular basis the activities of activists of Salwa Judum, to achieve the main motive of this initiative.

    1. Rayeeni Says:

      if some one push you from your house which is native land of your ancestor. Also after this you lost your all belonging and no hope of rehabilitation then what you do.

      1. priyansh Says:

        definitely , i support your views salwa judum is not good option to tackle the maoists . Salwa judum is totally a govt. program . so the salwa judum is just like the govt. servant they are like the police such like the police assaulted the tribals physically, socially,mentally the salwa judum also because the are in mainstream . and if somebody powerful man came to you and say the just left you house by next morning what do you if you don’t believe in system you search for the best alternative to take guns in your hands and you know that if i go to police or judiciary they will not believe and did’t support and it takes so much time . SO you are on own

  4. Hi

    Salwa Judum, I think, cannot be the alternative

    to tackle ‘Naxalites’ or “Maoists” activities. It is imprudent to have introduced or pop up of such a battalion in the guise of civilian. Rather, the elected government should try to understand why all such activists are born and what is their aim. Main thing, is DEVELOPMENT of the region in all respect which the people of the region cherish to keep pace with the modern time.

    So, it is wise to defrost Salwa Judum which might in turn become a boomarang to the State officials itself. It is a dangerous game, in otherwords.


  5. Rajesh Singh Sisodia Says:

    Every S.P.O. is not a Salwa-Judum member nor every Salwa-Judum Relief Camp beneficiary is S.P.O.

    D.G.P. Viswaranjan Said while making presentation in Berkley university , California on 27th September 2008 .

    Nange Paon Satyagrah

  6. Rajesh Singh Sisodia Says:

    Salwa – Judum camps are relief camps for the victims of the Naxalites’ brutalities. Salwa – Judum is in fact “Response of the Nange Paon (Poor) people of Bastar division” to the violence perpetuated by the naxalites.
    One should go to the relief camps, speak to victims and then propagate ones’ notion about any thing or event.

    1. Mani Says:

      We take weapon on our own people, who wanna fight for their land. Why do the Govt. keeps its ears shut in this.

  7. vikrant Says:

    everything is not that simple as it seems to be.has anybody ever bothered to think about the fact that these regions have vast natural resources and one is trying to see what is happening in the evacuated areas.and how come a state which is built on the fundamentals of non-violence is so much eager to distribute ammunitions ,
    they r not even trying to solve all these problems with any alternative method.

  8. chaikadai Says:

    We are cross-posting this on our blog. with a link to this post. Hope you do not mind.

    Thank you

  9. Mani Says:

    Salwa Judum,
    Sure it brings the peace in grave yards…

    1. ILMA ANSARI Says:

      DATS SO TRUE…..

  10. saranraj Says:

    as the only reward they bring is due to this the famine walks behind them amonng qalf of te pepple were under nourished and the central gov cant take any action ln it .its not good to thepeopleliving there.

  11. shubham Says:

    to counter violence using violence is not an answer but the government manned by mediocre politicians who are busy filling their coffers can not find a better solution of people’s governance or self rule by the Tribals. Even Naxalism would stop if local governance is given its due place as per the constitutional amendment

  12. tech Says:

    hell with the spine less constitution,law & order and justice.



  14. Rupak Mazumder, Kolkata, Says:

    Salwa Judum is not a temporary or permanent solution. How it resists the naxalite activities, it is obviously by counter violence, so It creates more and more violence. Movement of Naxal is against this social system and the so called (basically not for the poor) democratic pattern of the Country (top to bottom corruption in which Ministers, Govt. Officials, Corporate Bodies as well as political leaders are directly involved) and their main aim is to be done Socialistic Revolution and for this perspective Government shall firstly try to understand the reasons of movement of the Naxals and make necessary arrangements to take appropriate steps especially for the tribals viz. minimum basic needs of amenities of livelihood with ensuring food, shelter, education, nutrition, treatment etc. for community development as well as all types of infrastructral development with modern technological facilities and keep maintaining their forest rights, protect their culture and custom, social security, security & protection of tribal lands and for this Govt. should have to create the environment of numbers of thorrough discussions not only with the Naxal Leaders & workers (with the help of local NGOs, who work for the poor people of these areas honestly, know their pulse, well conversant with culture, creed, customs etc.) but also the every common people (both men and women with same importance) of these areas, so affected. Continuous visit with direct interaction with the common people of these areas (door to door) by the Government High Officials, Central & State Ministers in order to grow up the confidence of the mass people of these areas, faith, security may be made spontaneously so that the affected people could understand the above stated movement exclusively for favour of them by their Government and able to feel the difference between these movements, which are in favour of them and the naxalite activities.

  15. susanta parida Says:

    naxals movement not true 2 their principle. When civilian dies by naxal then NHRC silent,2 protect their lives what salwa judum does is right.

  16. susanta parida Says:

    naxal movement not 2 change govt. But for the people of poor. But their movment against development is not justified.

  17. KD Says:

    Well This Really Shows What A MESSED UP country India truly is. Arming barely literate civilians because the Government cannot defend it’s citizens. What Sort of democracy is that. A government no matter how corrupted it is,
    is bound to Protect It’s Tax-Payers. Things Like Salwa Judum is the first sign of a failed state.

    1. Santosh Munda Says:

      India is not a messed up country rather a big country which offers Unity in Diversity. Look at your own country and do some wiki study on language, religion, states and culture within then come back here to debate.

  18. Shekhar Says:

    I think this is not only solution.Government should know what is the basic problem.I would to tell one thing that GREEDY ( IZAT KA, SOHARAT KA, PAISA KA, SATA KA,CHAIR KA) is the main factor behind this.I aspect that reader will understood what i want to say.

  19. Sampad Narayan Says:

    I also was born & brought up in North eastern part of India ,some of my family members were also either abducted or killed by very dangerous terrorist outfits working as project engineers ,on govt. duty .
    They(Maximum underground outfits operating here) are really very dangerous just like goddess of death dancing,I was also working on one infra project totally under CISF/CRPF security Day & night,
    END this, End this, End this PLZ.
    I had to leave that job,I am an Engineer with MBA ,Who will heard me I am jobless now!

    1. PS Negi Says:

      you are an Engineer with MBA and jobless – gr8

      1. Sampad Narayan Says:

        I had to quit my job as I was In charge of (NESA) telecom circle O&M,I was posted by HO Gurgaon to Mokokchung(Nagaland) ever heard really a part of Indian Union Constant threat of abduction killings etc
        Come with me we will explore this which will help you to understand how to live under constant threat

      2. Sampad Narayan Says:

        20% Maoist are highly educated cadres some from IITs IIms IIsc etc.
        they took to take the task to unitedly fight for Tribal peoples,
        They were jobless gr8
        Kanu Sanyal charu majumdar if they wanted they could have achieved the top position in India ,but they continue to run this war staying in madhouse A pare of chappals torchlight,umbrella & few Parle G biscuits

    2. Dont loose hope. There r lots of jobs for winners jut u ve to struggle.

  20. Sampad Narayan Says:

    I am only concerned about the pathetic plight of our Tribal people of Central India whose natural resources are being exploited
    I have no political affiliation towards any under/over ground organization,nor do I support any political philosophy ,I am only concerned about Humanity & I standby with there legitimate rights & Demands
    Justice delayed is justice denied,what’s there fault.they are tribal,they belong to unexposed, unprivileged society, Govt propaganda of India developing,India Shining……….I am unable to justify this,face the reality Go to ground zero where there is no road no communication no drinking water no electricity no basic needs for water they have to walk min 15 KM,.Did Indian Democracy worth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Don’t neglect & postpone corrective actions,otherwise it will be too late,too late!

  21. Nabin Says:

    Hi…everybody is talking about ground zero. i just wonder whether anybody has gone there and inspect the situation and the condition of the people…

  22. Sampad Narayan Says:

    Do you really want to know the situation there supported by enough audio visuals,documentary,I went there ,,there is one place in Jharkhand Koderma falls under red zone,I was surprised to see three children & 1 women’s dead body were kept in govt. hospital ,after inquiring I get to know they died out of starvation ….so pathetic ,but the vital natural resources like iron bauxite limestone diamond uranium(Jaduguda) are in those area only.(Kuber’s treasure)
    justify this condition,awaiting your observation & comments

    1. Varada Says:

      The only way to tackle this menace is the action by Government to develop the area in a break neck speed.

  23. Nabin Says:

    can we people do something instead watching/waiting the govt. do anything…since this is our society and we have some responsibility to do so…what you says…

  24. Nabin Says:

    what if creates model village theory to the red coridore areas? if i am dreaming or can be turned into a reality?

  25. Sampad Narayan Says:

    Yes! It can be done ,but only with proper political will.Andhra Administration can be a role model!

  26. Nabin Says:

    can we take any intiative out there?

  27. Col (retd) Dr RPS Yadav Says:

    Dear Nabin &Narayan,
    All is not lost.Education,Tribal Society Upliftment,Honest Civil Administration and Summary Trial of Both Maoist and State sponsored groups like Salwa Judum can bring back Peace and Law of India in places like Dantewada. As Ex Soldier I volunteer to do it witout pay.

  28. I agree with all u but doing terrorism in view of govt n doing revolution by inspiration of Charu, kalu sanyal & jungle santhal by Nax n Mao does not teach to train & kidnap young children i.e 10,000》who r our next generation.

    Spoiling these kind of activities in civil administration should b punished either by govt or any force like selwa n that is correct.

  29. Sampad Narayan Says:

    Enough of talk’s & discussion, Do any National ,state level political party can come up in public & say,”we will put our all machinery , logistics,Human resources,money & will into the simple task of providing basic infra to adivasis”
    I see only blame game,Trivial issues etc in Chattisgarh election campaign ,nobody want to put all his will into this matter.ONLY BIG SCHEMES
    Is there something fishy going on(among whom……..may may not be?)
    I Have many thoughts about that!,will the so called BIG CLASS people who r saving & collecting money as future security for their children & relatives,if this condition prevails ,alas! they won’t be able to spend a single penny,by depriving those who deserves it .
    And if it happens then we have to rethink about KARMA THEORY!

  30. […] তথ্যসূত্র: […]

  31. […] in India have been actively involved in the creation of a so-called ‘people’s militia’, the Salwa Judum (‘purification hunt’ in the Gondi language). Aided by the security forces, the Salwa Judum […]

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