The Congress’s B K Hariprasad raised the situation in Bastar in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday. Quoting a report in the last edition of The Sunday Express, he said poor tribals have been caught in the crossfire between Naxals and the police.
“I would like to draw the attention of this House and the governments towards a big story that appeared in The Indian Express on the atrocities committed on the poor farmers, villagers and the tribals in Bastar region. This big story… is a shocking and frightening story of Bastar region,” he said raising the issue during zero hour.
Read Indian Express Sunday story: Outsiders vs patriotic voices: The new lines in Bastar
“A lot of Naxal activities are taking place and the Bastar region is the epicentre of Naxal activities. Of late, it has been the view among the poor villagers and the tribal people that the government exists only at the national highway. Nobody can just get into the villages even a kilometre from the national highway because the place is full of landmines,” he said.
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Hariprasad asked what one can expect from the administration when the district collector of Sukma was easily abducted on a motorcycle from his office. “You can imagine the state of administration in that region. It is reported that almost 4,000 sq km is a free zone where nothing moves without the permission of Naxals. The poor tribal people have been caught in the crossfire of Naxals and police. Naxals feel the tribals are police informers and the police feel they are all Naxals. Whenever the police take action, the worst affected are women and the girl children in these areas. The picture coming out of Bastar is really brutal,” he said.
“There has been a gangrape of about 15 women from the Pedagelur and Chinnagelur. It has been mentioned here — ‘Molested, beaten, threatened’ — women and children were chased out of their homes, and the same have been used as night shelter for the security forces in these areas. Out of the 15 women who were molested, three including a 15-year-old were raped in October 2015.”
He said that the incident was independently investigated by a woman MLA from the region and was found to be correct. “No action has been taken,” he said.