[Marxism] India: Petition for Justice in Chhattisgarh

Politicus E. epoliticus at gmail.com
Sat Sep 19 18:42:10 MDT 2009


f.y.i.

If you wish to endorse this petition, please visit
http://aidindia.org/main/component/option,com_facileforms/Itemid,423/

Note that Sanhati is a signatory.

epoliticus

*****
Association for India's Development, in partnership with many other
groups, is hosting events across the US and India to raise awareness
about the crisis in Chhattisgarh.

One of the central themes for these events is a traveling exhibition
of Javed Iqbal's photos. Javed is a photo-journalist who has toured
extensively in southern districts, and brought back powerful
depictions of the conflict zone. He has played an important role in
uncovering the truth behind some of the "encounters", for example
those in Basaguda and Badepalli. To know more about Javed and his
work, visit:

http://picasaweb.google.com/tsengupta/CGExhibit?authkey=Gv1sRgCLnko-PI4uSABg&feat=directlink#

Some of the other events planned include panel discussions,
movie/documentary screenings, petition signings, RTI drives, etc.
It will be good if we can get more people taking this up across India,
and also the US.

Please consider signing the online petition to support the peace
processes in Chhattisgarh.

Here is the text of the statement of the petition along with the list
of the 54 organizations who endorsed it:

We, an international coalition of concerned individuals and over 54
Human Rights, Community, Student, Development and Peace & Justice
organizations strongly support the right of displaced Adivasis
(indigenous peoples) to return safely to their homes and lives in the
state of Chhattisgarh, and are alarmed by the recent surge in violence
in Bijapur and Dantewada districts of Chhattisgarh which is
threatening to cause a major setback to the ongoing rehabilitation.

Since the promulgation of the Salwa Judum (a militia armed by the
state of Chhattisgarh) in 2005, violence from both the Salwa Judum and
Maoist Rebels has escalated, and hundreds of thousands of Adivasis
have fled their homes in Dantewada and Bijapur districts out of fear
for their lives. Over the last 12 months, we were encouraged to see
that with the support of civil society groups such as Action AID,
Vanvasi Chetna Ashram (VCA) and Agriculture and Social Development
Society (ASDS), some families have gradually begun to return to their
villages and are resuming agriculture and other forms of livelihood.
However, recent threats, arson and murder in the vicinity of the
rehabilitated villages has spurred further displacement, and deterred
those who were planning to return to their homes. We sympathize
sincerely with the families of the victims of such violence.

Given the widespread displacement of Adivasis from their land as a
result of this violence, we as informed citizens, pledge to support
efforts that aim to rebuild confidence amongst Adivasis, and help them
return to their lands and resume their lives with a sense of dignity.

We appeal to the government of Chhattisgarh to facilitate the process
of rehabilitation of displaced communities as per the Directives of
the Supreme Court, as well as the recommendations of the National
Human Rights Commission, by doing the following:

    * Make immediate arrangements for food, water, seeds, and
implements to enable ploughing so that the villagers may sow in this
critical period of the farming season
    * Provide rations and employment through NREGA (National Rural
Empolyment Guarantee Act) which will make food and daily wages
available to the villagers until their crops come to harvest Provide
compensation with which to rebuild and sustain their livelihoods
    * We appeal to the government of Chhattisgarh to take firm steps
to end the vicious cycle of violence in the region through
de-militarization, clearing security forces off schools and hospitals,
and withdrawal of the Salwa Judum.

 We also appeal to all parties - the Maoist Rebels, the Government and
the Salwa Judum - to refrain from any activity that adversely affects
the return and stay of the rehabilitated Adivasis in the villages of
Chhattisgarh.

List of Endorsing Organizations

Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia, MIT
Alliance of South Asians Taking Action, San Francisco
Amnesty International, USA
ANSWER
Asian Law Alliance
Association for India’s Development
Association of South Asian Political Activists, Berkeley
Birmingham Anti-SEZ Campaign, UK
Boston Coalition for Justice in Bhopal
Boston Mobilization
Cambridge Free Binayak Sen Group
Campaign against Forced Displacement, UK
Campaign to Stop Funding Hate
CMC Vellore Alumni Association-U.K. Branch
DEEP - Defenders of the Environment and Ecology of Panjab, UK
Dharma Megha, East Lansing, Michigan
Friends of South Asia
Gadar Heritage Foundation, Fremont
Hillingdon Asian Women's Communication Service, UK
India Foundation, East Lansing, Michigan
ICJB- International Coalition for Justice in Bhopal
Indian Muslim Council, USA
Indian Progressive Study Group-L.A.
India Relief and Education Fund, Fremont
Indian Workers Association (GB)
International Accountability Project
International League of People's Struggles, UK
International Service Society, Okemos, Michigan
International South Asia Forum: INSAF, NYC
Massachusetts Global Action
Matahari: Eye of the Day
National Lawyers' Guild
Our Developing World
Peace and Human Rights Trust: UK
Peninsula Peace & Justice Center
Peoples Health Movement, USA
SAMAR
San Jose Peace & Justice Center
Sanhati
SANSAD (South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy) Canada
SAPAC: South Asian Progressive Action Collective, Chicago
SACC- Scotland Against Criminalising Communities
Seva International, Okemos, Michigan
Sikh American Heritage Organization
South Asian Alliance, UK
South Asia Solidarity Group, UK
South Asia Solidarity Initiative
SAPA, Harvard  (formerly SASS)
Students for Bhopal
The 1857 Committee, U.K.
Vaishnava Center for Enlightenment, Okemos, Michigan
Vedanta Society of East Lansing, Michigan
Western States Legal Foundation
WILPF-San Jose
*****




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