Coalition of Rights Groups Condemns Alleged Massacre of Adivasi Peasants in Bastar

CASR has issued a fervent demand for an independent judicial inquiry into the alleged fake encounter, calling upon all democratically minded individuals to unite in condemning this heinous act of violence.
Coalition of Rights Groups Condemns Alleged Massacre of Adivasi Peasants in Bastar

New Delhi- The Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), a coalition of rights groups has vehemently condemned the alleged massacre of Adivasi peasants in Bastar, Chhattisgarh.

The Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), comprising a formidable alliance of organizations has issued a scathing denouncement of the state’s complicity in perpetrating this egregious act of violence.

" On May 11, 2024, tragedy befell the villages of Pedia and Ethavar in Bijapur District as 12 innocent Adivasi individuals fell victim to a staged encounter by paramilitary forces" CASR said in a press release.

The victims, comprising five from Pedia Village and seven from Ethavar Village, were engaged in the age-old practice of gathering Tendu leaves, a vital source of livelihood for Adivasi peasants during this season. However, their routine endeavor took a sinister turn when they encountered security forces in the vicinity.

Faced with the looming specter of repression, the Adivasi villagers attempted to flee, only to be met with a barrage of gunfire from the paramilitary forces.

The merciless onslaught resulted in the untimely deaths of the fleeing villagers, with reports indicating that among the deceased were individuals as young as Sethu Kunjam, a mere 5th-grade student, and Channu Avalam, who was reportedly of unsound mind.

This appalling incident is not an isolated occurrence but rather emblematic of a broader pattern of state-sponsored violence and oppression plaguing the Adivasi communities of Bastar.

Since the ascension of the BJP regime in Chhattisgarh, there has been a marked escalation in assaults on Adivasi peasants, with fake encounters and extrajudicial killings becoming distressingly commonplace.

" This hidden war is a genocide being committed on the Adivasi peasants in the name of neutralizing the Maoists. The state has used advanced levels of weaponry in the area including aerial bombing by Israel made drones. This January, the state bombed villages in Bastar for the fifth time. In this area Armed forces and police have a clear impunity in everything they do in the name of eliminating Maoist. All this happens because the Indian state wants to facilitate the corporate loot of natural resources of Adivasi land , " the joint statement read.

CASR has issued a fervent demand for an independent judicial inquiry into the alleged fake encounter, calling upon all democratically minded individuals to unite in condemning this heinous act of violence. Furthermore, the coalition has underscored the state’s ulterior motive of facilitating corporate plunder of natural resources on Adivasi land, perpetuating a vicious cycle of exploitation and marginalization.

The Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), comprises a formidable alliance of organizations including AIRSO, AISA, AISF, APCR, BASF, BSM, Bhim Army, bsCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, DISSC, DSU, DTF, Forum Against Repression Telangana, Fraternity, IAPL, Innocence Network, Karnataka Janashakti, LAA, Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, NAPM, Nishant Natya Manch, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad, Samajwadi Lok Manch, Bahujan Samajvadi Manch, SFI, United Against Hate, United Peace Alliance, WSS, and Y4S.

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