From Tehelka, via Harmanjit. Naxalism is one of India’s biggest problem. It does not get enough attention in media because its not impacting the middle-class directly yet. But, as the article shows, it has started to spill into urban areas.
According to Judith Vidal-Hall (2006), ” Naxal guerrillas control an estimated one fifth of India’s forests, as well as being active in 160 of the country’s 604 districts”. It claims more lives than terrorism.
From an earlier article:
THIS WEEK marks the first anniversary of a brutal attack by the banned CPI (Maoist) party on India’s paramilitary forces. On 6 April last year, 76 policemen were massacred in the forests of Chhattisgarh. One year later, the same forests have witnessed another brutal carnage. As TEHELKA’s investigations reveal, this butchery comes not from the enemy, but from the ‘security’ forces. Those attacked are India’s most invisible citizens.
In the course of a five-day operation in the second week of March, police torched three villages deep inside the jungles of Dantewada district. Three hundred huts were set on fire. Hundreds of tribals left homeless. Three women sexually assaulted. Three civilians killed. Granaries incinerated. Gold jewellery and thousands of rupees looted. One corpse left dangling from a tree. Another sliced with an axe. Two villagers kidnapped. Livestock stolen.
The irony is: Barring reports in Hindi daily Rajasthan Patrika, The Hindu and a few local television channels, media stayed quiet. The tribals are India’s invisible citizens.