of Chhattisgarh state. The title of the report has created an impression among readers that, report is regarding total anarchy in Bastar region, where law is being subjugated and law enforcement agencies doesn’t exist at all. The fundamental rights of the citizens are trampled by anti-social elements.
But report miserably failed to address many burning issues in Naxalite area such as, Naxal atrocities on villagers, public killings of innocent people under false allegation of being Police informant, presence of countless Kangaroo Courts run by Naxals to punish helpless citizens, brutalities of Naxal commanders, forced minor soldiers and rampant destruction of government infrastructure by Naxalists.
The report is typical leftist ploy to malign image of Indian security forces countering Naxal violence, Hindu organizations propagating democratic values among Naxal dominated society and preserving rich cultural traditions from onslaught of aggressive evangelists.
I will try here to analyze AIPF report point by point to expose false allegations leveled against Hindu groups and Security Forces.
Allegation- Scores of intelligence officers closely followed 8 members Communist Team round the clock in Jagdalpur. The team was intervened, stopped, frisked, interrogated frequently at number of CRPF and Police check points. Number of vehicles was passed to CRPF check points for further interrogation. Team was asked to share name of villages they visited & name of people the met. The safety of those people from Jagdalpur and Sukma who spoke with team is at stake.
Reality:- It is Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) followed by security forces deployed in counter insurgency operations. No one is exempted from interrogation, frisking and questioning. The vehicles plying on roads are
always informed to all check points so that missing vehicle could be easily tracked in case of emergency.
So, this is meaningless allegation.
Allegation- Bastar is the area where Christians are systematically being persecuted by Hindu radicals and Bajrang Dal-VHP activists. It is laboratory for Hindu Nation. Chhattisgarh Gram Panchayat Act’s section 129 (C) is being wrongly invoked to persecute local Christians and to prevent them from building places of worship. In at least 7 villages construction of Churches are halted by misusing provisions of aforesaid law.
Reality:- The aforesaid law prevents anything that is detrimental to cultural & religious traditions of Scheduled Castes. The construction of churches was halted by villagers as designs of the churches were totally different from traditional houses built in the area. So it was appropriately invoked in these cases.
According to Superintend of Police office in Jagdalpur, the villagers filed complaint under Chhattisgarh Gram Panchayat Act’s section 129 (C) and then construction of church was halted. Police denied involvement of Bajrang Dal- VHP workers in the matter.
Allegation- Testimony of Pastor Pilaram Kawde from Bhadisgao village in Tokapal panchayat of Bastar district told villagers threatened to demolish prayer hall built by him. Also on On 25 May 2016, Saradi Bai, an old Christian lady died, but villagers provoked by Bajrang Dal stopped us from burying her. Then villagers allowed burial when Police intervened.
Reality:- According to SDM office the villagers didn’t deny the permission to bury dead lady on religious ground, the actual reason was that the family of deceased lady refused to comply with the rules laid by villagers related to use of crematorium. The SDM office further said that not only Hindu villagers, but Christian villagers also opposed burial of said woman and her husband.
Allegation- Layers Son Singh Jhali told that in Ara village, Bariyo Chowki, Jeypore thana, District Balrampur, Bajrang Dal organised mob of 25-30 people led by Shri. Chhotu Jaiswal on Sunday, 5 June 2016 and attacked Sunday prayers in Church. They vandalized church, beaten up the pastor along with wife and 3 others. A case under Section 295 A, Anti Conversion Act Section 4 and Section 502, 504 and 505 IPC also invoked against the Pastor.
Reality:- According to Superintendent of Police office of Balrampur, the incidence of violence triggered due to attempt of deceitful religious conversion being made in the said Church. When villagers gathered at Church to take stock of the situation, the violence broke out between both sides. When villagers registered a case against pastor under Anti Conversion Act Section 4, pastor was arrested and lodged in Police custody.
Allegation- Pastor John Masih (alias Chunnu) from Karmari vllage in Bastar block of Bastar district told that the construction site of the Christian prayer hall in his village was attacked by villagers and Bajrang Dal activists badly beating two women working on site. He had all NOC and permissions in his hand, but still people raised objections about it and pressurised them to halt it. The matter went to court. Then village Karmari gram panchayat passed a resolution under Section 129 (C) of the Chhattisgarh Gram Panchayat Act, “To stop forced religious conversion by outside campaigners, preventing use of derogatory language against Hindu deities.”
Reality:- The permission and NOC which Pastor John Masih had obtained from revenue department and other concerned departments was actually meant for construction of residential building. Buildings for religious purpose needs separate permissions, which he had never sought. Knowing the truth, villagers stormed the venue where people from both groups resorted to violence. Police denied involvement of Bajrang Dal as it was village level skirmish.
Karmari village Gram Panchayat actually passed the resolution under Section 129 (C) as there was history of Christian conversions by fraud, allurement and duress. Also during aggressive evangelisation drives by outsider Christians, they always used foul and derogatory language against Hindu deities, so Gram Panchayat passed resolution to prevent it. They also informed police and administration about foul language used during campaigning and resolution passed by Panchayat.
Allegation- Pastor Munne Lal Pal, who is ex-president of United Church Union and Graveyard Management Committee of Jagdalpur claimed that boundary wall of 100 year old graveyard was demolished with JCB by Bajrang Dal and VHP workers in presence of government officials in the pretext of clearing encroachment on government land. When VHP- Bjarang dal activists were demolishing compound wall administration and police officers turned moot spectators.
Reality:- As per Jagdalpur DC office sources, administration has issued repeated notices to graveyard committee to clear off encroachment on government land, but when notices were ignored, administration decided to clear off by force. Also administration flatly denied the involvement of Bajrang Dal- VHP involvement and termed it as mischievous act of propaganda.
Allegation- Sanuram Gupta from Tumasnar village of Kanker district told that in 2006 7 Christian villagers were beaten up by Hindus and then they demanded “Chanda” from Christian villagers for construction of Hindu Temple. The Hindu villagers always boycott functions arranged by Christians.
Reality:- Kanker district Police sources said no such incidence is registered in Police diary. On the other hand villagers from said village confirmed that they don’t prefer to attend functions arranged by Christian villagers as organisers used derogatory language for Hindu rituals and foul language for Hindu deities. Villagers denied charge of social boycott on Christians.
Allegation- Baman Kowasi from village Parapur and Chhichoripara of Lohandiguda block in Bastar district said on 15 May, 2016, local Bajrang Dal workers mercilessly beat up his sister named Kumli Kowasi (18 yrs), for doing ‘jadu tona’ (witchcraft). All family members took refuge in Church in another village.
Reality:- Police confirmed the incidence but termed it as village level clash and further told that there was no involvement of any group like Bajrang Dal. Those familiar with tribal life knows well that allegations of witchcraft are not new in such areas where superstitions are part and parcel of daily life.
Allegation- Communist team members met Kumli Kowasi in the village where she took shelter. She is living under fear. Kumli told the team that she was assaulted for being Christian. The Bajrang Dal workers are instigating her family members to be violent against their own family members for getting converted to Christianity.
Reality:- Police sources and social workers active in the area told that, frictions and infighting within family due to conversion in Christianity has become common in the state. The conflict of this sort is common phenomenon all over the state and no one from outside is needed for instigating violence in such cases. The violence within family after conversion of family members is widely reported in whole state.
Allegation- Pastor Sivo Mandavi from village Sirisguda of block Tokapal (district Bastar) told, that his ration supply was halted for being Christian. Then food inspector called them to collect ration dues on 16 June 2014. When he went to coolect it, he was attacked and beaten up. Next day, 17 May 2014, the village gram sabha adopted resolution that non-Hindus must leave the village. Fake FIR registered against 12 Christians by Bajrang Dal.
Reality- Uncertainty and frauds in ration supply are common issues in backward areas. Rampant corruption in ration supply is not new in such cases, where supply is withhold to collect bribe. But Communist chicanery unnecessarily painted this issue as Hindu- Christian conflict, just to drag Bajrang Dal in it. The case filed against 12 Christian found no proof in Police record, so the allegation proved malicious and framed.
Allegation- Pastor Abhimalik of village Mudhota- Bhanpuri (Bastar) said On 19 October 2014, about 30 Bajrang Dal workers entered Church, beaten up Christians ordered them to convert to Hindu or else they will be killed. He went to Jagdalpur to meet Police officer. Meeting was convened on 25th October. Police didn’t turn up and Bajrang Dal workers attacked Christians. Ambulance didn’t allow by mob to enter village.
Then village panchayat refused to allow us the use of bore well, for which Christians approached Collector, who arranged meeting of Christians and Bajrang dal, where Bajrang Dal insisted on “Ghar Wapasi” of Christians under Section 129 C of the Gram Panchayat Act.
Reality- As per Police record, no such incidence occurred in village on said day. Police said it was clash between two Christian groups in village and there was no Bajrang Dal involvement.
The allegation of “Ghar Wapasi” threat was also baseless as no such meeting occurred in Collector’s office.
Encounters & Rapes
In Nagalguda village under Gadiras thana of Vankapal in Kuakonda Tehsil of Dantewada District, state police claimed killing four women viz. Rame, Pandee, Sanni, Mase - in an fierce encounter on 21st November 2015. Villagers said that it was fake encounter. Villagers identified all four women as Maoists. They had come to village to solve a dispute. Then village was ambushed by the police force. One of the four women got killed from long distance. Two women shot dead even after they surrendered.
Reality- Even villagers told Communist team that all four women were known Maoists. Also, villagers said that one woman killed in shoot out from long range, then how can one conclude that three women surrendered and killed in staged encounter? Everyone knows that Dantewada is Maoist hotbed, is it not fare to engage Maoist in such area?
In all insurgency, terrorism prone areas there are always two opinions about encounters. Sometimes chances of fake encounters do exist. But many a times puppets and fake NGOs, violence supporters under the garb of Human Rights activists used to take advantage of genuine encounters to push security forces to the walls, so that morale of the forces can be hurt.
Actual rapes and allegations of rapes against Security forces go hand in hand in trouble torn areas. The supporters of violence exploit false and fabricated stories of rapes by forces to earn more support from common man to their movement.
But in both rape and fake encounters neutral inquiry must be establish to go deep in the matter.
Camps and Check posts:- The AIPF team has elaborately narrated their experience about CRPF camps and check posts and Police stations in Bastar. The entire conclusion is that security forces behave in arrogant, abusive and harsh manner. The team also raised strong objection to the placard placed by forced which reads, ‘Renounce Maoism, Support Development’. They have objection for equating Maoism with violence and as enemy of development.
The fact is that security forces deployed in insurgency infested areas remains under deep threat from all over. The death looms over troops every time. In such condition, how we can expect gentle behaviour from security forces? In a single ambush on CRPF patrol at least 10 troops loses lives, is it not natural for their fellow servicemen to behave tough and harsh while on duty?
AIPF team was enraged when CRPF asked multiple questions to them. But it was obvious behaviour by CRPF troops with open and over ground supporters of Naxalites and Maoists? And the credit goes to AIPF Team itself.
About Insecurity, Fear and Mutual Suspicion:- The Team observed that atmosphere of insecurity, mutual suspicion and fear prevails in whole area. People fear for getting branded as “Maoist” on one hand and “Police Informants” on another.
It is disturbing but true, but whom to blame? The situation where society is polarised between police and Maoists is created by Maoist and warmonger Communist ideology, so blaming security forces for current situation is hypocrisy.
About protests against Bela Bhatia:- Organisation called Naxal Peedit Sangharsh Samiti protested against Bela Bhatia and burnt down her effigy. As per AIPF such groups are being utilised to quench research scholars, lawyers and social activists. But reality is that such research scholars, activists, exploit their fame, intellect and resources just to demoralise security forces fighting bloody battle against Naxalites and also works as over ground Naxalite supporters galvanizing civil society for protecting Maoists, Naxalites war against state. So, it is obvious that anti- Naxal groups become natural opponents of such over ground supporters of violence and Naxals feels comfortable under tutelage of these so-called social activists.
Objections about Salwa Judum & Samajik Ekta Manch
As Supreme Court disbanded “Salwa Judum” movement, people created new outfit called Samajik Ekta Manch to fight Naxal menace. English weekly launched the sting operation to expose new outfit, just to benefit Naxalites. The main objection and reservations of AIPF about Manch was that they are targeting people like journalist columnist Malini Subramaniam, advocate Shalini Gera of Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group, and human rights activist Bela Bhatia (Read Naxal Right activist). Actually these so called researchers, columnist, advocates and human rights activists are working with singular objective of shielding Naxalites, garnering popular support from society to Naxal violence and keeping security forces in Naxal hit area under constant pressure of legal onslaught.
These fellow activist and social workers issues press release from New Delhi within minutes of arrival of the news of Naxal encounter in Chhattisgarh. They would say within few minutes of arrival of news that it was “fake encounter”, “staged encounter” “extra judicial killings” and they would vehemently demand NHRC probe of encounter.
Is it their activism? These gangs of activists and human rights workers has caused irreparable damage to India’s democracy and maligned image of India’s security forces on international level.
AIPF Conclusions and Recommendations- Remedy Worse Than Disease
Last leg of AIPF report on Bastar is “Conclusion and Recommendation” The Team mentioned, ‘Constitutional provisions are openly fluted in region’. And Government’s policy of large scale militarization. Communist leaning political parties is pressurised. Communist activist are under fire. Arrests and detentions are very much common.
AIPF was much concerned about fate of Christians in Naxal hit areas, and specifically mentioned that Christian minorities are under continuous pressure of RSS affiliated outfits.
The recommendations section has 10 points, in which point number 9 finds single reference in the whole 52 page document, where AIPF has urged Maoist to refrain from committing violence against common man. The point number 10 is most important for all those who raise voice against persecution of Communist activist in this area. The 10th recommendation tells government to immediately stop ‘Operation Green Hunt’ against Maoists and withdrawal of all paramilitary forces from Bastar. Is it not dangerous to tell government to withdraw forces letting Maoist unleashing bloodshed?
There is not a single reference of Christian groups aggressive, abusive evangelisation drive among Hindu villagers, but AIPF repeatedly mentioned Hindu groups viz. Bajrang Dal and VHP and their violent attacks against Christians, majority of these allegations proved false, baseless and pointed at defaming Hindu groups, clearing way for conversions by Christians in vast Bastar region.
1) Considerable portion of 52 page AIPF report is dedicated to targeting Hindu groups like Bajrang Dal (22 references), RSS (2 references) and VHP (2 references). AIPF concluded that unarmed Hindu groups are more dangerous than armed Maoists.
2) Bastar report turned blind eye on abusive and aggressive evangelistic activities by Christian Missionaries but left no stone unturned to grill and scold Hindu groups trying to preserve indigenous culture.
3) The report has no single mention of RSS outfits like Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram running thousands of educational, health and service projects in Bastar region. Also AIPF failed to take note of attacks and atrocities on Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram by armed Maoist.
4) All accusations on Hindu groups found baseless, false and fabricated, as all incidences of violence mentioned in report were village level factional clashes, without any organizational connection.
5) AIPF report miserably failed or I can say deliberately ignored supreme sacrifice made by security forces while maintaining law and order in Naxal hit areas. And report successfully painted paramilitary forces as enemy troops willing to crush local people.
6) AIPF Team expected VIP treatment from paramilitary forces deployed in the region and lashed out at troops for checking and frisking them. It shows their deep contempt for security forces fighting Naxal terror.
7) Report has neither made a single reference of Naxal extortion gangs, kidnapping rackets, ransom economy, forced sex, rapes and public executions nor condemned it in clear word (except just single namesake reference of Naxal violence against innocents).
8) It has no reference of destruction of infrastructure, public property and educational infrastructure by Naxals.
9) The report completely ignored forced recruitment of adolescent and minors in Naxal Army, by clearly violating United Nations Security Council resolution 1261, which prohibits use of child soldiers.
The AIPF report is total lie, highly objectionable, biased and unprofessional and directly or indirectly supporting Naxal ideology and violence. Also it's sole objective is to shield abusive and aggressive Christian Evangelists against indigenous faith movements of Bastar.