We publish a statement by the CASR that we have received.
Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) Condemns the Fake Encounter of Three Villagers by Police in Nendra, Chhattisgarh
24th January 2024
On 19th January 2024, Madkam Soni, Punem Nangi from Nendra and Karam Kosa of Gotum village were killed at the hands of the police forces in Chhattisgarh, in between the hills where the two villages are situated in. The three were on their way to join an ongoing protest in their area when they were intercepted by the police forces and killed. There was an attempt to burn their bodies which would remove all evidence, thanks to quick response from other villagers the attempt to burn the bodies by the police was thwarted. While the official version is that the three were Maoists and were killed in crossfire, Bastar is riddled with hundreds of incidents of fake encounters in which the Adivasis of the region were shot dead by the police for attempting any exercise of their democratic rights. They are then later dubbed to be Naxalites.
Just three months ago, in Tadmetla, Sukma, Sodhi Deva and Rawa Deva were apprehended in a police station after returning from their family home having dinner and were later dragged to a nearby forest and shot dead. They too, were dubbed to be Maoists. In 2019, hundreds of District Reserve Guard and Special Task Force personnel fired on a gathering of 70 youths organizing a day of sports for the local children and older villagers, killing 10, claiming they were Maoists, in Tadballa in Abujmarh area. Similarly, five days prior to this mass killing, women gathering leaves in the forest were fired upon by paramilitary, killing one and injuring another. The police were then caught trying to dress the body in Naxalite uniform in a desperate attempt to cover-up their brutality. Such cases are bound to increase this year, with the newly-elected BJP government in Chhattisgarh expanding the ongoing Operation SAMADHAN-Prahar with Operation Kagar in Abujmarh, which takes the ratio of locals and paramilitary to 7:3 in Abujmarh. The memories of the infamous Amishpora encounter are still fresh too, where three Kashmiri youth were killed by the Indian Army in 2020 and were later dubbed to be ‘militants’ of the Kashmiri national liberation movement. The Army’s own tribunal later found this to be a fake encounter in 2023. Barely a month ago, three Kashmiri tribal men were murdered by the Indian army after they were tortured and mutilated by the barbaric soldiers, under the baseless suspicion of being involved in the Poonch attack by the People’s Anti-Fascist Front on the Indian army. In Oting village, Mon district of Nagaland, the ‘Para Special Forces’ of the Indian army opened fire on coal mine workers from the village, under the claim of running a ‘counter-insurgency’ operation against forces of the Naga national liberation movement. The slain were then dumped into a military truck and the army personnel were caught trying to drape uniforms of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland over them by other villagers. In Assam, since 2017, 50 registered cases of encounters have already taken place under the guise of curtailing both the Naga national liberation movement as well as the Assam national liberation movement. In 2021, the Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma lauded these encounters and even urged the police to “not be scared in taking such action!”
Whether it be the claim of fighting Maoism or curtailing national liberation movements in Kashmir, Nagaland or Assam, the Indian state continues to kill innocent civilians. This year itself began with the death of a 6-month-old infant in Bijapur district where the drunken DRG fired upon protestors, one of whom was a breast-feeding mother whose child was killed in the firing. It would not be surprising if this infant too, would later be dubbed a Maoist or a ‘separatist’ by the Indian state to justify its crimes. With the coming of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) governments in these areas where the Indian state is waging a war on people.
Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) stands in firm opposition towards fake encounters and extra-judicial killings by the state and condemns the killings of the three villagers in Nendra.
CASR demands an immediate judicial enquiry into the fake encounter and the end of killings in the name of curtailing Maoists or national liberation movements.
CAMPAIGN AGAINST STATE REPRESSION (CASR)
Constituents: AIRSO, AISA, AISF, APCR, BASF, BSM, Bhim Army, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, bsCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, Disha, DISSC, DSU, DTF, Forum Against Repression Telangana, Fraternity, IAPL, Innocence Network, Karnataka Janashakti, Progressive Lawyers Association, Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, NAPM, NBS, Nishant Natya Manch, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad, Smajwadi Lok Manch, Bahujan Samjavadi Manch, SFI, United Against Hate, United Peace Alliance, WSS, Y4S