Updates on the situation in India

Featured image: In February Uttarakhand became the first federal State to pass the UCC law, mainly targeting the personal religious rights of Muslims. Source: Nazariya.

We have previously reported on the explosive situation in some South Asian countries, where we give an overview of some of the internal and external conflicts plaguing the old Indian State.

There are constant reports on actions in the framework of the People’s War in India, lead by the Communist Party of India (Maoist) [CPI (Maoist)]. Since the start of this year there are reports of Maoist forces eliminating 11 police and military personnel of the old Indian State as well as 14 informers and collaborators. Most of the activity is reported to have been in the federal State of Chhattisgarh. In the latest action reported two Special Task Force police officers were injured by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in a forest near Itwar village in the Bijapur district of Chhattisgarh.

It is reported that the CPI (Maoist) has called for a general strike today, the 15th of April, in the federal states of Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, to denounce fake encounters, where the old Indian State murders civilians and claim they are Maoist combatants. Just in the state Chhattisgarh the old State claims to have killed 53 Maoists this year.

In one of these encounters the police murdered 13 people, claiming they were members of the People’s Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA), heavily armed with weapons such as a light machine gun and a large number of grenade launchers. After supposedly exchanging fire for “a long time” the forces of the old Indian State claim to have no casualties.

We have previously reported on actions in the People’s War in India carried out in March, as well as the boycott campaign against upcoming parliamentary elections.

Fearing actions of Maoist forces, the police are reported to have deployed forces as well as drones to protect the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra that will start on the 19th of April.

The old Indian State is also repressing the popular struggle by making arrests under the “anti-terror” UAPA law. The Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM) and the Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) have recently made statements denouncing the arrest of Adivasi leader Sarju Tekam under the UAPA in Chhattisgarh on the 2nd of September. Sarju Tekam was well known in the struggle against the increasing fake encounters in Chhattisgarh. According to the statements the police framed him by planting literature of the CPI (Maoist) as well as explosives in his house, a method commonly used by the old Indian State to try to get rid of those fighting for democratic rights for the people.

With lacking and fraudulent evidence, the old State often fails to uphold the charges in court. However using charges under the UAPA the old State imprisons human rights activists, in many cases for many years. We have previously reported on the acquittal and release of democratic rights activist G.N, Saibaba as well as five others after the old Indian State was not able to prove their involvement in anything they were accused of. On the 5th of April Shoma Sen was granted bail after six years of imprisonment for allegedly supporting Maoist insurgency, as they did not see any clear evidence that “she had attempted to commit any terrorist acts”.

The old Indian State has also not been able to suppress the conflict in the federal State of Manipur, which we regularly report on. Last Friday a shootout between armed groups belonging to the Meitei and Kuki tribes was reported, three Meitei militants were injured. Then on Saturday there was another shootout between two armed groups, two Kuki militants are reported to have been killed. On Sunday it was reported that Kuki militants carried out attacks in retaliation to this, against different Meitei villages and against the forces of the old Indian State. More than 50 bombs were fired at the Senjam Chirang village and the old Indian forces deployed there, in addition to gunfire. After the attacks it is reported that the location of the police rifle battalion deployed there is in danger, as it could easily be attacked again.

We have previously made some notes regarding the background of the conflict in Manipur:

The old Indian State also continues its repression of minority religious groups, particularly Muslims. In February the Assembly of the federal State of Uttarakhand passed a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) law which overwrite various legal codes regarding inheritance, succession and marriage for different religious groups. The UCC has been high on the agenda for the current ruling Party, the BJP, and now Uttarakhand is the first federal State to pass it into law. While it is claimed that the law is “secular” and “pro-women”, an article of the Nazariya magazine denounces the law as a reproduction of Hindu laws, that are forced onto other groups, particularly targeting the Muslim minority.

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