Communist Party of India (Maoist)
Press Statement 12-12-07
Condemn State-sponsored Barbarities on Adivasis in Asom!
Support the Democratic Demands of Adivasis!
All sensible democratic people are terribly shocked and horrified by the chilling scenes of brutalities let loose on the peaceful rally on 24th November 2007 of many thousand Adivasis organized by All Adivasi Students' Association of Assam (AASAA) to press their very just demand for the Scheduled Tribes Status in Guwahati. The gangster brigade supported by the Congress and its student wing, NUSI lynched more than 12 Adivasis quite openly. Hundreds were savagely tortured and left writhing in terrible pain on the roads in pools of blood. A number of Adivasis also went missing. The infernal scenario of Guwahati once again brings to the fore the perpetually brutalized existence of the Adivasis in India. The CPI (Maoist) expresses its all condemnation and hatred for the ghastly barbarities unleashed on the Adivasis and extends all support to their just demand. It is no secret that the so-called civilized and privileged sections are guilty of such heinous crimes particularly committed on women.
Oblivious are we not to the fact that Guwahati is one of the well-fortified cities India. And the open AASA rally was declared well in advance. It is also a cruel reality that on 24th November the state's police forces made their presence in large numbers during the rally. Guwahati witnessed premeditated gangsterism with the open complicity of the police forces. TV footages and media reports made it crystal clear that the Tarun Gogoi government of the Congress Party had directly played the criminal role of unleashing all such acts of violence on the Adivasis. The positions of the governments at the Centre and Asom converge in regard to refusing scheduled tribe status to the vast numbers of Adivasi people of Asom.
In the aftermath of the First War of Independence in 1857 when repression by the colonial rulers reached its peak lakhs of Adivasis form Chhotonagpur plateau were transported left for the Dooars, Tripura and in hundreds of tea gardens of Asom. It was the beginning of criminal exploitation of the Adivasis basically in tea gardens. It was also the end of the freedom of those people nestled in the forested lands for generations before the British rule. Later in the so called 60 years independence lives of the tea garden workers have not changed, loot, plunder, starvation deaths and all types of oppression including the TU's vandalism is rampant.
On 24th November the deprived Adivasis rallied under the AASAA with the legitimate demand of six backward communities of Asom namely the Adivasis, Koch-Rajbanshis, Tai-Ahoms, Morans, Mataks and Chutias to be included in the list of Scheduled Tribes. The irony is that the Adivasis including Santhals are recognized as Scheduled Tribes by the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950 as amended by Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes (Modification) Order 1950, the North-Eastern Areas (Re-organisation) Act, 1971 and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Act, 1976. It is the same old story that Mr. Tarun Gogoi as his party leader promised the ST status before electoral victory and conveniently retraced his step as did other people in power.
No condemnation is stinging enough for the animalistic actions of the pack of goons on that day, who had not only rained lathis, iron rods and all weapons with the clear protection and support of the police. They gang raped many women rallyists and stripped naked a young girl, a Madhyamik candidate. Humiliating women of the Dalits and Adivasis by parading them naked has long been the favoured "penalty" and signature of class and caste domination, particularly in rural India. Now this dominant section in the city of Guwahati tore apart the veneer of 'civility' by tearing of the last piece of cloth young girl, photographing her naked amidst wild halloo and devilish cheers, to the glare of prurient onlookers. Thus upper casteist ideology, the culture of the ruling classes, violence and targeting women in particular showed off the ugliest appearance in Asom.
The Chief Minister of Asom has shed crocodile's tears over the incident and announced a CBI enquiry, a cruel eyewash. The CPM supported UPA government's state home minister Mr. Shree Prakash Jaiswal has argued that as the Registrar General is not in agreement so those Adivasis will not be accorded tribal status. The supremo of the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, a constituent of the UPA, a double dealer and killer, has gone further. He not only slurred over but also played down the barbarities on that day saying, "Nothing so serious has occurred in Assam. The media has exaggerated everything."
The CPM MP Rupchand Murmu-led delegation to Guwahati on 27 November after the violent attack, gang-rape, etc. pointed in the fashion of anti-reservation forces the accusing finger to the "unruly youths" of the rallyists triggering violence. The so-called Left-delegation virtually justified the acts of gruesome attacks propping up such hideous arguments : "….the local residents, enraged by vandalism, retaliated and attacked the Adivasis." Such well-kneed opportunists entrenched in the politics of preserving and expanding the vote bank also goes to their craftiest best to pass themselves as genuinely bereaved for the brutalized Adivasis. All they have betrayed the interests of the Adivasis and are definitely anti-reservationists, a proven fact of Indian political history.
Adivasis are perennially deprived and distressed in India. The fulfillment of demand of the struggling Adivasis in Asom for Adivasi status is not obviously a solution to their myriad problems of monumental dimension – economic, political, cultural, linguistic, etc. but the struggle for the acceptance of those Adivasis, as STs is a just demand to snatch, in a small way, a position, some facilities, etc.
The CPI (Maoist) stands by the struggling Adivasis of Asom, expresses deep anger against the goons who had perpetrated all violent attacks on the Adivasis on 24th November 2007 in Asom, sends its condolence to the families of the murdered and expresses deep sympathy for the grievously injured and the raped Adivasis.
12-12-07 Spokes Person