INDIA – FACAM on the fake encounter and arrests of Adivasi peasants in Usur, Bijapur

Hereby we share a press statement we have received.

FACAM Statement on the Fake Encounter Killing of 4 Adivasi Peasants in the Ghamandi Forest and the Arrests of 90 Adivasi Peasants in Usur, Bijapur 

10th July, 2024

With the beginning of this month, the state yet again unleashes its attack on the Adivasi peasantry with the killing of 4 Adivasi peasants and arrests of about 90 Adivasi peasants after red tagging them. It continues its genocidal attack on Adivasi. On 3rd of July, as part of the “Maad Bachao Andolan” operation of the paramilitary, ironically the name used by mass movements in Abujhmad to oppose genocidal military operation, big combing operations have been launched to displace the Maoists from the hills of Chattisgarh where they have set up their bases. During one such combing operation, four villagers were killed by the paramilitary forces in the Ghamandi forests of Narayanpur district. According to the police, these individuals were members of the People’s Liberation Guerilla Army’s (PLGA) CC protection squad, that is, these are PLGA fighters who protect the central committee of the Maoist party. According to the security forces, the killed individuals fired at the paramilitary, who asked them to surrender, and the paramilitary killed them in exchange of fire, after multiple IED explosions and several hours of cross firing had happened. However, the reality is not even vaguely similar to the claims made by the paramilitary. 

According to the villagers, in the nearby Kokameta village, the paramilitary arrived and started randomly firing at the village and in another part of the area in the forest. The firing continued from morning to evening. The villagers started running helter skelter in fear when this started happening. The paramilitary started physically attacking the villagers. Five of the villagers were injured because of this. Four of the villagers, Kondha, Ghasi, Edma and Manglu were shot at by the paramilitary. Manglu was an Adivasi peasant whose family depended on his agricultural work. He was living with his family in the village and was an Adivasi peasant and not a Maoist. In fact he was in his house, and when the firing happened, in fear, he started running away. He was shot dead by the paramilitary then. Manglu’s mother and wife also asserted the same thing. Ghasi and  Konda were also living in the village with their family. This raises a serious doubt on  the paramilitary’s claim that the slain were maoists. This doubt gets further strengthened by a statement of the Maad division committee of the CPI(Maoist). They have alleged that five Adivasi peasants have been killed and six villagers were injured in the attack. These claims hold water as the Maoists have been known to accept the loss of their cadres and giving them homage. One such example is that  when the Chotebetiya encounter happened in the Maad region, the Maoists declared that all the people that were killed were members of their organizations, albeit alleging that half of them were killed after being caught. Therefore, It is obvious that in this encounter, the Adivasi peasants were attacked and killed as a result of an attack on an Adivasi village by the paramilitary. The paramilitary then dressed the bodies with the fatigues of the PLGA, a practice well known to be used paramilitary in these regions.

After this, on 8th of July, 90 Adivasi peasants were arrested after they were red tagged by the security forces. This happened in the Usur police station in Bijapur district of Bastar. The villagers have declared that these individuals are not Maoists but are innocent Adivasi peasants. The entire village has gathered in front of the police station to protest against this. Latest updates suggest that 20 of them have been booked on charges of being a Maoist. One can see a pattern in which the state operates. The Adivasi peasants are red tagged by the state and then they are criminalized, their civil rights vanish instantly after they are tagged. Then they can be arrested or worse, killed. The Adivasi identity is fused with that of Maoism. The state equates the two thereby criminalizing the very existence of the Adivasi peasant to continue its onslaught against the Adivasi people in Bastar. Maoism as an ideology is criminalized although not formally banned, curbing the freedom of thought of the Indian people. The Adivasi peasants are then equated with the Maoists thus ensuring the criminalisation of the Adivasi. This McCarthyian tactics was the same one that was used by Hitler and Mussolini. Jews as such were associated with communism, creating the conspiracy theory of Judeo-Bolshevist theory to first seperate them from the mainstream society so that they can make them the ‘Other’, and continue the genocide. The Indian state is utilizing the same tactics to do a genocide on the Adivasi peasants. The Adivasi are already discriminated against due to the dominant Brahminical ideology. This makes it easier to attack them.

Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM) demands that the Indian state must immediately cease its genocidal military operations against the people of Bastar, Conduct independent judicial inquiry in all fake encounters and release all the falsely incarcerated adivasi peasantry and its leadership.


Constituents: All India Revolutionary Students Organization (AIRSO), All India Students Association (AISA), All India Revolutionary Women’s Organization (AIRWO), Ambedkar Student Association- DU (ASA-DU), Bhim Army Student Federation (BASF), Bhagat Singh Ambedkar Students Organization (BASO), Bhagat Singh Chhatra Ekta Manch (bsCEM), Collective, Common Teachers Forum (CTF), Democratic Students Union (DSU), Fraternity Movement, Nazariya Magazine, Progressive Lawyers Association (PLA), Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan (MAS), Trade Union Centre of India (TUCI), Vishwavidyalaya Chhatra Federation (VCF)

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