While militaristic actions of Maoists in Chhattisgarh cannot be justified, the State government and the Centre should not use such incidents as an excuse to oppress tribal people, the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) has said.

“The CPI(ML) holds that militaristic actions by Maoists, isolated from democratic movements and political assertion, cannot be justified by the logic of retribution, and are counterproductive in developing any mass resistance to the government’s policies of corporate plunder and Operation Green Hunt,” a statement by party general secretary Deepankar Bhattacharya said.

The governments must not allow the attack on Congress leaders on Saturday used as a pretext to unleash greater repression on the people of Bastar. Instead, Operation Green Hunt must be scrapped immediately, former Salwa Judum SPOs in the police withdrawn and criminal action initiated against all those, including police personnel and Salwa Judum cadre, who were accused of rape and killing, it said.

The CPI(ML) blamed the “unconstitutional and anti-democratic policies” of the State and Centre for the spiral of violence. Both were united in backing Salwa Judum, formed by Congress leader Mahendra Karma, “which armed civilians and unleashed massacres, rape, and mass eviction of adivasis.” Salwa Judum had continued by the backdoor, in spite of the Supreme Court order declaring it unconstitutional and ordering that it be disbanded. Police personnel accused of raping adivasis, including Soni Sori, had even received gallantry awards, the statement said.

A week ago eight adivasis, including three children, were killed in a firing by the Central Reserve Police Force. The incident was first projected as an encounter and later admitted to be “a massacre of innocents,” the CPI(ML) noted.

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