Leaders of different tribal organisations and rights organisations on Sunday wanted the government to withdraw security forces tasked with the “green hunt“ and restore peace in the tribal heartland. They organised a rally here denouncing the anti- naxalite operations carried out targeting the innocent tribal communities causing large-scale displacement in the country.
The tribals and the organisations fighting for the cause of the tribals were not against development and they were basically for the kind of the development, which would be implemented according to conditions of the tribals by fully recognising their rights over the resources of land, said the speakers.
Dr. B. D. Sharma, convenor, National Campaign for Eradication of Inequality and former collector of Bastar district, said the tribals were fighting for their self-defence. They were fighting against exploitation and any one fighting with them representing the corporate interests would only make a war.
They were not animals to be hunted down, he said. It is an insult on the tribals to call the fight a “green hunt''. He said the forests and the resources belong to the tribal communities and even if the government ventured to exploit the recourse without the consent of the tribals, it would amount to thieving. Even if it was an insect, it would hit back when trampled upon.
How could be the tribals be expected to surrender their rights over the resources meekly, he questioned. The Constitution had given them the right to defend themselves, he said.
Varavara Rao said in his address that that no multi-national company could venture into the Bastar forests that was endowed with rich natural resources ever since the Maoists could make it their base in 1980. But the BJP government that came back to power was going all out to woo the multi-nationals and rolling out a red carpet for them undermining the interests of the tribal communities. The ‘green hunt' was to protect the interest of the MNCs. The tribals and their women were killed and subjected to vile indignities in the Bastar forests.
Kranti Chaitanya, APCLC secretary, called for an end to ‘green hunt'.