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‘Maoists are the govt for Dantewada tribals’

Posted by Admin on April 10, 2010

'Maoists are the govt for Dantewada tribals'How could the Maoists hold their sway in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada region and massacre 76 CRPF personnel on Tuesday without suffering many losses themselves? The bloodbath took place despite the heavy presence of security forces there for the last five years and the ongoing Operation Green Hunt against the rebels. The answer is simple: The Maoists have the total support of local tribals, most of whom belong to the Muriya or Gothikoya sect.

A social activist from Andhra Pradesh’s Khammam district, J. Venkatesh, said: “In the latest attack on the CRPF forces, these tribals played a major role. There were about 200 Maoists, but the number of Muriya tribals involved was double. The tribals attacked the forces with arrows, swords and axes.” He added: “The tribals form a large part of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) of the Maoists. They don’t understand the Maoist philosophy.

All they know is to simply follow the commands given by top leaders.” The tribals have developed animosity towards the police forces because they have been the worst victims of CRPF atrocities during Operation Green Hunt and earlier combing operations. Inquiries revealed that Chintagufa, where the recent massacre took place, witnessed the killing of 16 innocent tribals last October. They were declared as Maoists.

Since then, the tribals had been waiting for an opportunity to take revenge. “There is hardly any instance of real Maoists getting killed in real or fake police encounters. No Maoist leader worth mentioning was arrested or killed. All the forces have been doing all these days in the name of Operation Green Hunt is harassing and killing local tribals by branding them as Maoists. So obviously, they treat the police as their enemies,” a schoolteacher in Dornapal said.

The Maoists have also taken on the government’s role. They are reportedly taking care of the needs of tribals in the deep forests. Locals in Dantewada talk about “people’s governments” (janatana sarkars) in the tribal hamlets, where the Maoists have established local self-governments – they have set up schools and banks run by the tribals, created irrigation facilities by constructing check dams on streams, introduced collective farming and run revenue administration.

“For them, the Maoists are the real government since they have not seen any other officer coming to them so far. So, they are prepared to lay down their lives for the rebels,” the teacher added. According to Manoj Shukla, whose family fled from Chintalnar to settle in Dornapal and ran a grocery shop, the Maoists have the locals completely in their grip.

“The police forces have never made an attempt to take the tribals into confidence and bring them into the mainstream. They treat the tribals with contempt and the tribals treat the police as the enemy,” he said. As revolutionary balladeer and Maoist emissary Gaddar remarked, it is not totally a conflict between the police forces and the Maoists. “The police have waged a war against the people and they are now retaliating. It’s a real people’s war,” he said. India Today


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