JUST A LITTLE COLLATERAL DAMAGE

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 An eleven member team of civil and democratic rights activists from across the country visited Chhattisgarh in November 2010 to enquire into the grave civil war like situation existing in the southern part of the state bordering Maharashtra and to investigate frequent reports of encounters that appeared in the media in October 2010 and resulted in many civilian casualties. The specific districts covered were Mahasamund, Rajnandgaon, Gadchiroli and Durg.  It was found that a regime of terror had been created with security forces arbitrarily entering homes of ordinary villagers on the basis of mere suspicion of their alleged links with Maoists and then indulging in reckless firing and violence. When these are then revealed to have merely resulted in civilian deaths, the immediate attempt is to cover up and not even ensure proper medical attention. Further the complicity of the state ensures that the offenders are never subjected to a judicial process and go scot free after killing innocent civilians whose lives are seen to be easily dispensable and as unavoidable collateral damage in the fight to ensure ‘national security’. The report urges the state to follow the rule of law and adhere to the NHRC guidelines while ensuring adequate compensation and justice to the families of deceased and injured victims. 

Key words- Chhattisgarh, Operation Greenhunt, Chhattisgarh Public Security Act (CPSA), repression of dissent, Naxalites, Salwa Judum, fake encounter, disturbed area, paramilitary forces. 
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