Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM) Condemns the DRG Attack on Protestors at Orcha Nadia Par, Narayanpur, Chhattisgarh!
It has come to our attention that on 24 November 2023, police and District Reserve Guards(DRG), intoxicated under the influence of alcohol and drunk on state power, came to Orcha Nadia Par in Orcha Block of Narayanpur District, where the Adivasi peasants are protesting for past days to fight for their right on Jal-Jungle-Jameen and assert their right to dignity and respect. The DRG and police personnel brutally beat up the protesting people and destroyed the protest site. They didn’t even spare the elderly and the household goods and rations have been burnt by them.
It is important to point out that many of these DRGs are ex-Salwa Judum SPO (Special Police Officers), a well known notorious force who have unleashed reign of terror in the region from 2005 until its disbanding in 2012. They were banned by the Supreme Court of India for their documented atrocities and it is precisely because of these activities of police and paramilitary forces during Salwa Judum and Operation Greenhunt, the people of these mineral rich regions (Chhattisgarh) are apprehensive and rightfully so.
The militarization of these regions is closely tied to the corporate loot of people’s resources by crushing people’s democratic resistance against it. For the very same reasons people have continued to be suppressed, killed in fake encounters and forcefully displaced from their villages in the name of countering the Maoist movement. Not far from Orcha Block (Narayanpur), protesting villagers were beaten up and 8 leaders of the movement against the proposed mining project in Damkondawahi (Gadchiroli, Maharashtra) were separated from the people and airlifted in a helicopter to Gadchiroli. The people of Damkondawahi hills, an extension of Surjagarh Hills in Gadchiroli District of Maharashtra have been protesting against the proposed extension of mining operations in Surjagarh hills run by Lloyd Metals. The mining operations have already wreaked havoc in the region destroying the environment and displacing people. When the people protested against the detention of 8 leaders and destruction of protest site of Damkondawahi Bachao Sangharsh Samiti at Todagatta village, the paramilitary beat up the people and detains more than two dozen others and were taken to Ettapalli, Gadchiroli. 21 activists were booked in frivolous case of obstructing officers from discharging public duty, that was on that day, to inaugurate a police camp in Vangeturi village next to Todgatta.
It is very clear that there is a similarity between the crackdown on protesters at Orcha Nadia par (Narayanpur) and Todgatta (Gadchiroli). These incidents also clearly point out the aim at corporate loot of resources behind rising militarization of the regions through multiple paramilitary. The camps, boasted as ‘forward operational bases’ in the state’s Operation SAMADHAN-Prahar against the Maoists, are in reality nothing more than carpet security for mining operations. Therefore, we believe that these anti-camp movements are closely tied with anti-mining movements continuing across mineral rich regions of the country and should be seen as such.
The Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM) strongly condemns the attack on protesters at Orcha Nadia par in Narayanpur by DRG and Police personnel and demand strict action against them. We also call upon the progressive democratic organisations and Individuals to strongly oppose such brute militarized advance and oppose Operation SAMADHAN-PRAHAR.