As the State steps up its Naxal offensive, Chhattisgarh tribals are caught in a spiral of random violence, fuelled by the brute logic of force. Last week Gandhian activist Himanshu Kumar brought some of them to Delhi seeking justice. Or at least a hearing. Divya Gupta reports. Photos by Vijay Pandey
‘The men shot my husband then stabbed him. They shot two other women in front of my eyes’
MAKDAM MUKE has four children. Her husband and one of her sons were asleep in the granary when, at 6 am on October 17, a 100 men in fatigues, faces covered, burst into their hut. They beat Muke with their shoes and kicked her. Then, they tied her hands behind her back and forcibly took her around three villages. Before leaving, they shot her husband and stabbed him twice. In front of her, they also killed two women, Madvi Adma and Madvi Joga.
‘They killed my 80-year old mother and sliced off her breasts. I feel angry but what can I do?’
Village Gachanpalli, Incident: October 17
As the State steps up its Naxal offensive, Chhattisgarh tribals are caught in a spiral of random violence, fuelled by the brute logic of force. Last week Gandhian activist Himanshu Kumar brought some of them to Delhi seeking justice. Or at least a hearing. DIVYA GUPTA reports. Photos by VIJAY PANDEY MADVI POJA is a farmer. On October 17, he heard a force of 200 was headed towards his village. He ran in fear, leaving behind his 80-year-old mother. She was weak and couldn’t see well. When he came back, she was dead, bearing two bullet marks on her upper torso. They had sliced off her breasts, cut her all over. She was lying in a pool of blood. Poja, afraid the force would return, ran into the jungle. His mother’s body lay for hours before he was forced to bury her (normal practice is cremation).
‘Why did they kill my husband? He was a farmer not a Naxal. I want them punished’
MADVI HURRE has three children, including one infant. On the morning of October 17, her husband Madvi Deva went looking for some local brew for his visiting fatherin- law to neighbouring Kedmal. At about 7.30 am a force came from the Chintan Gufah Thana towards their village. It included the police, CRPF and members of the COBRA commandos. Hearing gunshots Madvi Hurre went looking for her husband. She found his bicycle lying smashed; he wasn’t there. Three villagers from Gram Tumal, conscripted by the force for “Marg Darshan” (showing the way) saw the killing. They said they were made to bury Madvi Deva’s body though they cremate their dead.
‘The men shot my leg. My kids came running and covered me with their bodies. It was unbearable’
SODI SAMBU has four children, aged 2 to 10. Her husband was in the fields at about 6 am on October 1 when a 100 SPOs came to their village and dragged her out. One shot her in the leg. She fell down. Her children came running and covered her with their bodies. The bullet had gone through. For 18 days she got no treatm ent. The pain got worse. On the 19th, she was brought to Delhi. She fears going back.