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2012 ‘encounter’, lack of education infra: Twin tribal protests erupt in Chhattisgarh

The 2012 “encounter” took place at Sarkeguda, 14 km from Silger—where another protest against the setting-up of security camps raged for more than 20 days before ending a fortnight ago.

Written by Gargi Verma | Raipur |
June 29, 2021 4:10:18 am
A one-person judicial commission to probe the Sarkeguda incident had found in December 2019 that the 17 people, including six minors, were innocent.

Chhattisgarh Monday saw two major protests by tribal residents against the state’s Congress government. In Bijapur district, thousands gathered to seek justice for the killing of 17 tribals in a fake encounter exactly nine years ago. More than 300 km away, Kanker district, too, saw thousands of tribals coming together, demanding schools and other necessities.

The 2012 “encounter” took place at Sarkeguda, 14 km from Silger—where another protest against the setting-up of security camps raged for more than 20 days before ending a fortnight ago.

A one-person judicial commission to probe the Sarkeguda incident had found in December 2019 that the 17 people, including six minors, were innocent.

Residents from more than 30 villages and activists, including the lawyers who had fought for the victims, gathered at Sarkeguda on Monday. “The Congress government, before coming to power, stood with us and protested police brutality. But somehow, they have forgotten all of that. They have forgotten all about the report,” said one of the protestors, a resident of Sarkeguda.

In the other protest held at Kanker district, residents from 68 villages of Koyalibeda block demanded schools and higher education institutions in their region. The residents also complained that the education process had come to a complete standstill with schools shut due to the pandemic.

“For the entire block, there are only 2 senior secondary schools, one of which doesn’t have a building whereas the other the building is under construction… Instead of strengthening the education infrastructure in remote tribal areas, the government has closed several schools in our area,” said Budharu Korsa, one of the protestors.

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