Indian state has started aerial war against the people of the country. The government began drone attacks on the farmers peacefully demonstrating on the problems of agricultural sector near Delhi and Haryana. Police are cordoning them off and opening fire. With these actions, the fascist central government has announced that the farmers are not Indian citizens. Four years prior to this, the then Congress government, along with the Modi government at center, began bombing through helicopters on the adivasis in Chattisgarh. With the BJP government coming to power in the state, this war is intensified. When farmers agitated for one year in Delhi three years ago, the adivasis of Dandakaranya supported and campaigned for them treating it as a people’s movement against Hindutva corporatization. 

Adivasis have been waging an unarmed struggle for the last four years against the aerial war that is going on in Dandakaranya. The government started setting up military camps to scuttle the struggles against surrendering their natural resources to corporate. Mulvasi Samskritik Kala Manch is an organization founded to work in cultural field by contributing songs and art forms to the struggle against militarization and corporatization. This organization has been working to bring awareness in society about the corporate Hindutva policies of the central and state governments, the struggles of Chattigarh adivasis against those policies and the aerial war that is being unleashed against them. This article is a part of that effort.

The root cause of this war, manifested in the form of militarization in Chattisgarh, is corporatization. The state is rich with 26 kinds of precious mineral wealth, including iron ore, coal, bauxite, dolomite, chromate, magnesium, lime stone, silicon, granite, and lithium. The state governments are implementing their plans to give away these minerals to corporate companies. Chattisgarh’s mineral resources and forest resources are providing the governments with crores of rupees of revenue. It is also getting crores of rupees of revenue from people’s labour and natural resources. But, very little from this income is being spent to cater to the basic necessities of adivasi people. The ruling politicians, officials, corporate companies and imperialist forces are jointly looting this income.  

Since the BJP government under Vishnudev Sai has come to power in Chattisgarh, the double-engine bulldozer government is implementing pro-corporate policies as an obedient servant. It has given away Chattisgarh coal mines to the Adani companies. ITI training opportunity was given away to a Tata company.  It is on the verge of privatize Bailadilla iron ore mines. MoUs worth Rs 1,18,836 crores are on the anvil for this loot.  

The previous Congress government as well as the present BJP government have signed 104 MoUs in the last four years. According to these MoUs, the government has to provide all kinds of facilities for those companies. It has to build roads, culverts, airports, railway lines, free water and electricity facilities and the government has also decided to waive corporate tax for some years. Thus, the declaration of the war on the people is a part of militarization and privatization in Bastar to provide all these facilities to corporates. 

People are fighting against the new police camps that are being set up during the last four years in Batar Sambhag. Though it is a 5th Schedule area, heavy security forces are encroaching the place in the nights to set up police camps without any permission from Gram Sabhas. This kind of encroachment into a Schedule area is against Indian Constitution. In the process they are arresting who ever question this, implicating them in false cases and sending them to jails terming them as Naxalites. They are killing people in fake encounters to terrorize people at large. Recently they even killed a six-month old infant.

Making use of drones used in the Indian borders, they have bombed the forest areas of Palagudem, Botthilanka, Eethagudem villages in Sukma district on April 19, 2021 for the first time. Subsequently, villages of Sakileru, Chanda, Inkaal, Mettagudem in Sukma district were bombed by using drones on April 14, 2022. For the third time, they fired indiscriminately at people from helicopters and bombed using drones between Bottem and Erram villages in the same district. A woman died in this attack and several people were injured. For the fourth time, there was a bigger attack on the borders of Sukma and Bijapur on April 7, 2023. Heavy bombing using drones and indiscriminate firing from helicopters took place in Meenagatta, Jabbal, Kavurgatta, Bottem, Gundam villages. All these attacks were not at all aimed at People’s Liberation Guerilla Army, but deliberate assaults directly on people. Due to these attacks, there is a terrorized atmosphere where people are unable to come out of their homes to take up their agricultural works, cattle grazing and collection of forest produce.     

From the beginning of 2024, thousands of security forces have been deployed as part of carpet security expansion and tens of new camps are set up. A camp was set up between Doolod and Mettagudem villages in Sukma district and from this camp, on January 13, rocket launchers were fired at in a big way aiming surrounding villages and forests. People had to run helter-skelter to save their lives. Similarly on January 30 midnight, when all the people were asleep, Tekulagudem police camp in Bijapur district also fired rocket launchers with heavy shelling aiming at surrounding villages. The shells reached as far as five kms from the camp and exploded within 10 meters to habitations in Puvvaru village. People ran for their lives, carrying children and old-aged. Right now people are living in fear without even sleeping during the nights.

Besides these, the security forces have killed at least 10 people in the recent past with their indiscriminate firing. Out of these casualties, a six month infant suckling in the lap of a mother was killed in the firing in Moddum village of Bijapur district. People are unable to sleep due to rocket launchers and gunfire every night from hundreds of police camps set up in Chattisgarh.  Thousands of policemen are protecting road building, combing the forests, firing indiscriminately at people and creating terror in order to stop people from coming out of their homes. There is no end to sexual harassment and rape against women.  There is an undeclared war going on against adivasis in Dandakaranya. There is a war-like situation here where people are not even allowed to raise their protest against these attacks.  The local media is terrorized and restrained from publicizing the situation here to other areas. The media persons under the control of police officials are forced to propagate the police statements only.

In this context, it is the duty of every person to reveal these murders and rapes as part of an inhuman war against people of Dandakaranya to the entire world. Adivasi lives are in grave danger now. Hence we request writers, students and democratic minded people to visit this area to do field study, bring out the facts and express solidarity to the people. This struggle is not just a struggle for adivasis. It is indeed an anti Fascist struggle against Hindutva corporate forces. We request you to make this corporate plunder in Dandakaranya and militarized aerial war on adivasis an issue for debate in the forthcoming general elections.

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