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Adivasi Mahasabha complains to President against atrocities on Girijans in ultra-hit States

Wed, Jul 20, 2016, 06:22 PM
A delegation led by CPI MP D. Raja and comprising Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Mahasabha general secretary Pashupati Kol and three others called on President Pranab Mukherji on Sunday and apprised him of the grave situation prevailing in the Naxalite-infested areas of Bastar in Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand and submitted a memorandum for his immediate intervention.

They complained that repeated appeals to the Union Home Minister and the respective Chief Ministers of Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand to stop repressive measures against the tribals under the pretext of weeding out Naxals did not yield any result. On the contrary, the paramilitary forces were resorting to killing of the innocent tribals and abducting tribal women and killing them after gang rapes.

“A number of reported cases have been investigated by the National Human Rights Commission and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, who found truth in the complaints and recommended penal actions against the culprits. But nothing has happened so far”, they bemoaned.

The delegation also told the President that a team of intellectuals from New Delhi visited Bastar and the national dailies reported their findings. Yet the State government or the Union government had not initiated any action.

In Odisha, in a combing operation against Maoists, the police fired upon an autorickshaw carrying MNREGA laborers returning from Baliguda Block office in Kandamal district and killed many tribals, including a child on July 8. Such incidents were occurring almost daily in the naxal-infested States, as both the Centre and State governments were bent on physically eliminating naxalites by hook or crook.

The delegation also told the President that thousands of tribal families from Bastar fled to nearby States to escape fake encounters, rapes and killings. Even the journalists and lawyers, who are working to ensure justice to the innocent tribal people are also under attack in these States. In protest against the “police excesses” the tribal peoples’ organizations called for Bastar bandh on July 16 which was total.

“The status report from the Central Government about implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and other traditional Forest Dweller (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, showed that out of nearly 34 lakh of claim applications received from 10 tribal-dominated States up to January 31, 2016, only 14 lakh titles have been distributed.

In the matter of education, health and employment, the tribals numbering over 10.45 crore are getting a raw deal from the government.

The delegation of CPI and Adivasi Mahasabha urged the President to look into the tribal issues and direct the Centre as well as State governments to do justice to the tribals by implementing the constitutional provisions and enactments.

The President gave a patient hearing to the delegation and assured them to take up the issues with the Union government.

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