Naxals Vs Salwa Judum

S.O.S   e – Voice For Justice – e-news weekly
Spreading the light of humanity & freedom

Editor: Nagaraja.M.R.. Vol.08..Issue.22….….01/06/2013

 

Editorial :  CHHATTISGARH    MASSACRE BY NAXALITES

 

   We at e-voice express our deep condolences to the FAMILIES of slain CRPF  jawans at  chhattisgarh , who were massacred by naxalites. We salute the brave soldiers who laid down their lives while upholding law & order and hereby demand  the legal prosecution of the perpetrators.

 We  don’t  have symapthies for  death of  SALWA JUDUM  Founding  & Supporting members because   they  also  inflicted  terror , violence on  innocent  adivasis &  dalits  just  like  naxalites.

 

We at e-voice salute our jawans & police for teaching the external enemies a befitting lesson and protecting our motherland from the external & internal  enemies. We pay our whole hearted respects to the martyrs , who laid down their lives , in the course of protecting our people & country from the clutches of terrorists / naxalites .

 

India equally faces greater threat from internal enemies – corrupt public servants    (who are deadlier than pak terrorists &  NAXALITES ). These corrupt public servants sell everything , motherland , for money , for bribe.

 

Mumbai terrorists killed 200 people , where as a fake drugs manufacturer kills thousands of people by selling fake drugs / fake medicines. Drugs control department officials lets off many such such fake drugs manufacturers , in turn killing thousands of innocents. The number of end victims are huge than any terrorist attacks. This is just one instance , in this way corrupt public servants of various departments compromise with their official duties & murder scores of innocents.

 

The corrupt public servants network , is oiled far better than italy’s mafia. Common man doesn’t get justice , even if he complains to higher officials , vigilance authorities or even court of law. As the bribe booty reaches higher-ups & political bosses.. thus black money is created.

 

The huge profits earned / black money created by criminal industrialists / entrepreneurs  , finds it’s way to  money laundering heavens. Thus our economy is crippled ,  public exchequer deprived of it’s dues. The money thus laundered feeds terrorist outfits , underworld dons , in their criminal deeds.

 

Now , underworld / terrorist outfits are involved in huge  real estate business , film production / distribution , film piracy business , etc , to reap more illegal profits out of illegal money. This shakes upside down our government’s fiscal policies.

 

If a corrupt public servant is apprehended , it is equal to depriving 100 terrorists  out of funds , putting 100 criminals out of action. Will the common man raise to give a befitting  lesson to corrupt public servants.

 

 

Whenever we face crimes by naxalites & terrorists , government only looks at one face of the case. The other face of the crime is the atrocities of government itself. The public servants are corrupt , they are snatching lands , livelihood from tribals , driving them away & gifting those very lands to industrialists , miners , etc without  any rehabilitation for the tribals. Government has failed to provide basic health care , education to people . it has even failed to provide food to tribals & tribals are dying due to hunger. All the much hyped government programmes like “Food for Work”  & “National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme” have derailed at the hands of  corrupt public servants. The local Police together with land lords , industrialists , miners are torturing these local tribals. For these tribals there is no food , no health care , no education , no justice but only sufferings , physical torture at the hands of police . The Recruiters of terrorist & naxal organizations are cashing on this frustration of tribals.

 


O, JIHADIS, FREEDOM FIGHTERS, TERRORISTS & NAXALITES
INTROSPECT YOURSELF

 

Kashmiri militants claim they are fighting for kashmiris, when the very same kashmiris were suffering from loses due to earthquake why didn’t the so-called jihadis didn’t make any relief efforts? Why didn’t their foreign master – Pakistan didn’t make any relief efforts? Within the pak occupied Kashmir ( pok) itself, Pakistan didn’t make appropriate
relief efforts. It is government of India & international community who provided proper & timely relief.

The foreign powers are not at all interested in your well being. They are ready to spend millions of dollars for aiding terrorism, but not ready to spend a few hundreds for your education , health care or self employment schemes through NGOs. The fact is they don’t want your well being, they don’t want you to prosper, live peacefully. The ultimate objective of these foreign powers is to take you on the path of self destruction, destruction of your motherland & to finally usurp the power, to subjugate you into slavery in turn looting the resources of your country.

Ofcourse, in India there is rampant corruption. Still democracy is live & kicking in India, it is the best form of governance. You have got real examples of countries in Africa, latin America, wherein the countries have secured independence through separatist / terrorist movements. The terrorist leaders themselves have become prime minister / president of newly independent countries. Now, they are more corrupt & barbaric than their predecessors . even after getting independence, the lives of commonfolk has become bad to worse. By independence , only leaders have benefited. Will you lead another struggle ? this is endless, as the selfishness , greed of leaders knows no bounds.

In the past, government of India aided tamil separatists, Pakistan terrorists, etc, butchering innocents. The government of U.S.A aided terrorists in Africa, afghanisthan, latin America , murdering innocents. Various countries have aided terrorism while preaching peace. These barbaric acts were motivated by selfish, corrupt, ego-centric leaders. Now, in the bomeerang effects of their actions, innocents are dying in bomb blasts, etc.

Violence breds violence. Peace & compassion results in all round harmony, prosperity. Every human being must struggle against injustices in a peaceful & legal manner. The struggle must be against the corrupt system, for that peaceful struggle democracy is the best forum. Don’t be pawns in the hands of foreign powers, politicians. They are not at all interested in your welfare, well being. At the end, it is the leaders who become ministers & amass wealth through corruption. The common folk like you will remain as fiddlings, minions forever.

Just imagine yourselves in the place of victims of delhi serial bomb blasts        (29/10/2005) or Mumbai blasts of 26/11/08 . just imagine the plight of little child MOSHE who has lost both his parents , imagine Your mother & wife are crying, your children are dead , your father’s hands & limbs are ripped apart in the blast. How does it feel to be one ? no religion, no god asks it’s followers to cause destruction. All religions, gods are full of eternal love & compassion. Let that god shine his light, upon you all on the violent path.

 

Whether it is in india or else where , democratic system is best form of governance. The people in those countries suffer due to corrupt public servants . in all such cases , the legal , non violent fight must be against the corrupt people , corrupt police , corrupt judges , CORRUPT public servants but not against the system itself.

Let us build ram rajya of mahatma’s dream through non violent means within the existing democratic framework . Jai Hind. Vande Mataram.

 

Your’s sincerely,

Nagaraj.M.R.

 

 

Who are  NAXALS  ?

http://www.business-standard.com/article/current-affairs/primer-who-are-the-naxals-and-how-they-function-113052700632_1.html 

 

 

PRICOL VP MURDER , SATYAM CO FRAUD , SINGUR AGITATION & GRAZIONO CEO MASS MURDER

–          An eye opener to irresponsible corporate India & GOI

 

In last week , in the state of tamilnadu India , some of the sacked laboureres of M/S PRICOL INDUSTRIES mass lynched & murdered a higher management official , for sacking them from their jobs. This act of laborers is a heinous crime , illegal & inhuman act. In India , nowadays the labour movement  has been hijacked by lumpen elements , rowdies , criminals. These criminal elements are there in the posts of union leaders just to further their self interests rather than the welfare of the workers whom they represent. These lumpen elements , so called leaders thrive on controversies & creates disturbances , vitiates harmonious relations between the management – workers. The company as an organization needs team work to survive & thrive in business. These labor leaders even oppose for example OUTPUT BASED PRODUCTION INCENTIVE SCHEME – which is a win win  situation for  both the management & workers. These leaders go to the extent of killing the hen which lays golden eggs , all for their selfish gains. These rowdy leaders become leaders just to make money , to make political entry , to shirk-off work , to escape night shift work , etc. In the midst of these rowdy elements the genuine concerns of  ordinary workers are not at all heard. The ordinary workers who depend on the organization for their livelihood , who work hard to earn more incentive , are the ultimate sufferers.

 

In the same manner , the management of companies must be sensible to the genuine concerns of  it’s workers , it must properly balance the worker’s concern & company’s position . some of the managements enforce harsh rules on workers , o.k , the management personnel of those very same companies function without discipline , misuse company properties , siphons of  company money , take commission from vendors , cheat the government of tax dues , violate environmental laws , tax laws , labor laws  by bribing officials , etc. Finally this kills the organization as a whole – the end losers shareholders , lending banks , government & our economy.

 

  The recent  public agitation  at singur west Bengal , India against the TATA NANO project , is nothing but a struggle for survival by the land loosers. The public of singur are living there since ancestral times , they fully depend for their livelihood on the vegetables & other small crops grown there by them. The livelihood , their survival is at stake. The irresponsible west Bengal government , to favour the corporate lobby ,  acquired the lands forcibly dirt cheap & gave it away at dirt cheap price to TATA’S. why such a cheap  , long term lease period  has been given to TATA’S ? The government literally has thrown the land loosers on street , it didn’t bother about their survival nor about their proper rehabilitation . Basically , TATA’S is a business house , their only intention is to make profits , more money , not the welfare of people. Why not TATA’S acquire land in open market ? the acquire of lands by state or central government for public good like for building dams , roads ,  channels  are at least justified  however the rehabilitation is more important. Other than for the projects concerning public good , for all the projects of private enterprises like pay & use roads , airports , industries , etc , the lands must be acquired in the open market at market prices . For some industrialists bid to make riches , lives , livelihood  of thousands should not be sacrificed. It is not alround development. In a democracy , the voice of the public , locals should be honoured but not the diktats of ministers or babus in secretariats. The present corrupt system in India leading to rise of naxalism , underworld , separatist movements are all due to the government policies since independence till date according to the wisdom (?) of ministers & babus , totally dishonouring the public voice.

 

Now , take the case of Graziono CEO mass murder in noida , it is nothing but  fallout of hire & fire policies. Every human being works for survival , on his meager salary there will be family dependents , all of a sudden if  a person is fired from service , his whole family will be on streets. O.k , all corporates nowadays preach & breath the mantra of USA , for everything be it infrastructure , flexible labour  policies , it compares itself  with  those prevailing in the USA. Now , the corporate India is getting infrastructure at dirt free prices ( very high in the USA ) , has got hire & fire mechanism by employing contract labour , very lenient environmental norms , very lenient food & drugs safety rules , relaxation in Factory Act , ESI & PF acts , etc add to it the rampant corruption in all govt departments by which you can get any certificate for a price.

In the USA , of course there is hire & fire policy , however the minimum wage levels are also very high , so that during good times workers can save money for their future. Also , there is social security net to take care of ousted workers , then why not Indian corporates paying good salary to workers during good times ? why not corporate India making good contribution to social security net ? in the USA , there are good  infrastructure facilities they take pride in paying taxes to the government ,  the corporate India always lobbies for tax cuts , subsidies , loan waivers , etc. in the USA the environment norms are very strict , the companies manufacturing hazardous chemicals which were ousted by the US government have set up shop in India . Government of USA treats lives of people as precious , where as Indian government treats lives of it’s people as dispensable. In the USA , the food safety & drugs , medicines safety standards are very high , the drugs , high level adulteration food products banned by Government of USA are sold in the India , this is the difference between government of USA & India , the way they treat their people’s lives. Loan recovery , investor safety norms are very high in the USA , where as in India , loan defaulters , share holder swindling , Non Performing Assets is very high.  Inspite of  all the strict norms we have seen enron , Xerox debacles in the USA  & recent bank fallouts in the USA. In India with such lax norms , only you can guess.

The lesson here for the government of India is , development must be allround , must not be at the cost of thousands. Listen to the voice of public but not to the commands of greedy selfish corporates , lobbies . Do stop thinking that only babus , IAS officers  & minister are brilliant knowing all and the public people are fools fit to be herded by IAS officers. Do remember that India is a democracy not a BANANA REPUBLIC.

The lesson for corporate India , aping the USA intoto  is O.k , but not by parts & bits , follow corporate USA in every aspect of corporate duties & responsibilities , transparency.

Final word , when it comes to the question of survival , life  , livelihood , it know no bounds . After all STRUGGLE FOR SUVIVAL is a basic animal instinct , it is a basic human right of every individual .

 

 

Naxalism a result of an oversight of statutes, says SC

 

Emphasising on validation of rights of tribals and forest-dwellers over the forest lands, the Supreme Court has said that Naxalism was a result of an oversight of constitutional provisions relating to administration of schedule areas and tribes of the country.

“Nobody looks at Schedules V and VI of the Constitution and the result is Naxalism. Urbanites are ruling the nation. Even several union of India counsel are oblivious of these provisions under the Constitution,” said a Bench led by Justice A K Patnaik.

The Bench made a reference to Schedules V and VI as they contain various provisions relating to administration and control of scheduled areas and scheduled tribes in several parts of the country. These provisions apply to states like Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa and Rajasthan and Northeastern states such as Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. Essentially these Constitutional provisions, with the help of plethora of judgments by the apex court, act as a guarantee to indigenous people on the right over the land they live in and its produce.

During a recent hearing on fresh guidelines over tiger reserves, the Bench made certain queries from Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising over the Centre’s proposal to relocate indigenous people who were still living in the core areas of tiger reserves.

The ASG had informed the Bench there were around 43,000 families still residing in core areas of tiger reserves and that the plan was to gradually move them out after proper consultation with Gram Sabhas. On being asked about the legal provisions to support the argument, she also read out from the 2006 Forest Rights Act and the Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act.

Asserting that all stakeholders should first ensure the legal rights of the tribals are not violated, Justice Patnaik said their rights must be settled in accordance with the provisions of the law.

 

“There is apparently no human-tiger conflict at least as far as these tribals are concerned. Everyone must remember that forests belong to forest-dwellers. British government considered forests of immense value and said through laws that all forests belonged to government. These people were brought down to poverty and they couldn’t earn their living. They will be arrested for consuming the forest produce; such was their law,” said Justice Patnaik.

His concerns were echoed by senior advocate Dushyanat Dave, who said forest-dwellers used to get arrested trying and collect wood or pick fruits from the forests.

The Bench, however, seemed satisfied with the promulgation of the 2006 Forest Rights Act and said this situation was sought to be reversed by the new legislation as it sought to identify their rights.

“One law can make a big difference. Zamindari abolition law is a good example how a law can reverse the situation,” said Justice Patnaik, adding it was not the state but its forest departments’ officers who did not want to give up their control over the forests.

At this, the ASG said the Centre was conscious of its duty towards protecting the rights of forest-dwellers and would relocate them after following the legal process.

 

Supreme Court, Naxalism and Salwa Judam

The Judgment Beyond the ‘Neo-Liberal’ Rhetoric

 

Ajay K. Mehra

The debate over the PIL filed in 2007 by Nandini Sundar and others challenging the ‘creation’ of Salwa Judum (SJ), variously translated from the Gondwani dialect as peace march or peace movement, as an armed tribal ‘vigilante group’, has taken a new turn in several respects since the Supreme Court of India struck down the use of tribal youths as a supplementary counter-insurgency force on Tuesday, July 5, 2011. Aside from expectedly mixed reactions both in the media and the public, three significant reactions need our attention and analysis. First, both the Union and Chhatisgarh governments expectedly reacted against it by expressing their intent to appeal to a larger SC Bench. Second, responding to some reactions in the government and the media circles that the members of the disbanded SJ could be targeted by the Maoists, the Maoists issued a blanket amnesty for those ‘adivasis’ who had joined the SJ under ‘government pressure’, thus reinforcing their friends-of-the-tribal image; simultaneously attempting to brush clean their own image as a ruthless group. Third, the Chhattisgarh Government, not to let go the ‘advantage’ it had gained with the SJ, declared that the former SJ members would be absorbed into the police as constables, even if that meant lowering the educational and physical standards laid down for recruitment to the constabulary. I will return to these issues a little later in my analysis.

The Media Reactions

THE INDIAN EXPRESS (July 7, 2011) editorialised this ‘Too Judgmental’ verdict rather pithily: ‘Rather than a granular approach that restricts itself to interpreting cases in the light of particular laws and statutes, the courts have enlarged their self-image, as populist champion and scold.’ In fact, drawing from some other recent judgments that it thought made the Court getting carried away, the daily felt: ‘The troubling thing about these judgments is not what they finally resolve, but their tendency to draw straight connections between diverse, highly specific cases about Salwa Judum, corruption in telecom license allocation or imperfect solutions to the land acquisition problem, to a cloudy abstraction called neo-liberalism.’

In a signed article ‘The Supreme Quote’ on July 9, 2011, Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express Shekhar Gupta dubbed this and other recent judgments as having the intellectual depth of a JNU postgrad: ‘Large parts of these judgments are just lectures on political economy that makes you ask a legitimate question: what is the job of the judges, to interpret law, or to criticise/make/change economic policy.’ In a similar vein The Sunday Hindustan Times (July 10, 2011) column by Chanakya commented against ‘Neo-Judicial Ideologues?’: ‘The judiciary is not an op-ed page contributor or a JNU post-graduate in post-colonial studies.’ A scathing commentary on what is considered a case of ‘judicial overreach’ influenced by a superfluous academic red bastion of the country! However, prominent political economy analyst Swaminathan S. Akalesaria Aiyar (‘Neo-Illiberalism is India’s Bane’, The Times of India, June 17, 2011) argued that neo-liberalism that advocates market economy sans any governmental control had not yet taken shape anywhere ‘and never will’ as ‘governments do not come to power in order to abolish all their powers’. He called the Indian political economy as ‘neo-illiberalism’ coming out of the ‘New Delhi Consensus’ (not the Washington Consensus) —‘all parties are fully agreed on continuing to making money out of a smaller but hugely profitable license-permit raj’.

In a more sedate tenor The Pioneer editor-in-chief Chandan Mitra commented that ‘It is not my intention to suggest that their Lordships acted out of ignorance in declaring this mass movement “unconstitutional” and harangued the State Government for converting innocent tribals into armed vigilantes, but I do wish the judges had travelled to Bastar to acquaint themselves with the ground reality before passing this draconian order.’ (‘Flawed Verdict on Salwa Judum’, July 10, 2011) The Hindu (July 9, 2011) in its editorial, on the other hand, agreed with this ‘landmark verdict’: ‘In demanding an end to the SPO system, the Supreme Court has acted as much out of concern for the hapless tribal population of Dantewada as for the tribal youth who were press-ganged by their individual circumstances into becoming “cannon fodder” for the state.’

The Economic Times (July 11, 2011) agreed with the SJ part of the judgment. However, on its critique of the neo-liberal policies, it said: ‘…it is unfortunate that the Court chose to pass facile judgment on economic paradigms and develop-ment strategies…. That the Union Government can today spend lakh crores to advance popular welfare stems wholly from the success of the policies the Court dismissed as privatisation leading to emaciated state capacity to finance vital functions. The Court fails to distinguish between economic reforms and the unreformed, degenerate politics that aborts much of the emancipatory potential of economic reforms.’ The Times of India (July 10, 2011) report supported the verdict on SJ, but cautioned: ‘(b)y launching a tirade against neoliberalism, the court provides unnecessary ammunition to critics who accuse it of judicial overreach.’ Prakash Nanda in his editorial column in the Uday India (July 23, 2011) felt that ‘(t)he honourable Judges have effectively provided intellectual legitimacy by citing the factors of poverty and exploitation’. He over-stretched his argument by suggesting that if empowering the common people to make electoral choices was alright, how was it wrong to arm them in self-defence.

While the human rights camp of public personalities that spearheaded this PIL and campaign against the tribal militia is naturally elated in being vindicated, other reactions vary from being cautious in their optimism to a total dismay at the Apex Court upsetting the entire counter-insurgency operations by the Chhattis-garh and other concerned State governments organised around ‘cooperation’ with the local communities. Both the final outcome and the tenor of the judgment have been interpreted as being sympathetic to the Maoists, even anti-tribal, by this section of the public opinion. There is also a strong criticism of judicial over-reach in terms of criticising the Indian state on its developmental model at a time when strong arguments have been advanced in favour of second generation of reforms. Why should the Supreme Court of India indulge in rhetoric on neo-liberalism and go out of their immediate context to offer an ideological critique, when the reform process is far from complete. On the security front, disbanding a well-formed voluntary security structure, in the process jeopardising the Special Police Officer (SPO) system across States and endangering the lives of the disarmed SJ SPOs of Chhatisgarh. The larger concerns emanating out of a critique of a JNUsque criticism of ‘neo-liberalism’ by the Judiciary and its tendency to encroach upon the executive and legislative terrain is also significant.

The Judgment

THERE are two parts of the judgment— ‘analytical’/explanatory and operative. And there are two dimensions of the judgment—one with political implications and the second with public security implications.

Let me first look at the operative part of the judgment. The Honourable Court has ordered the Chhattisgarh Government to cease forthwith continuing with the SPOs, that is, disband the SJ; this stops the Union of India from funding any such initiative by any State Government, directs the Chhattisgarh Government to recall firearms from the SJ SPOs and protect their lives from the Maoists. Additionally, the judgment also declared the sections of the Chhattisgarh Police Act 2007 providing for the appointment of SPOs as unconstitutional. The Honourable Court further commented on the incident of violence against Swami Agnivesh in Chhattisgarh with concern and directed the CBI to investigate this matter and report to it in six weeks.

The ‘analytical’/explanatory part of the judgment declared ‘having the depth of a JNU postgrad writing’ by the press tsars consumes most part of the judgment in which the learned judges have quoted extensively from literature on related issues—classical and contemporary —to buttress their arguments. There are two sets of arguments in the judgment. The first set of arguments relate to poverty and deprivation, particularly of the traditionally dispossessed social groups such as the adivasis, and the second set of arguments is regarding public security and both eventually get intertwined in articulating the final judgment.

In the first set of arguments the judgment relates deprivation to rebellion that expresses itself in violent agitation politics. This is the section of the argument that some commentators have found both rhetorical as well as ‘dangerous’ rationalisation of the Maoist politics in India. Whether the learned judges have the luxury of rhetoric drawn from social science and political philosophy literature in a judicial pronouncement, or they should use only a prosaic legal language in explanation and verdict, is a separate issue. One among the main issues, as articulated by Aiyar, is whether the current economic situation in India, in which the politics of the Maoist kind has sustained and expanded since the 1980s, is due to ‘neo-liberal’ economic policies enforced by external pressures, or it is India’s own mess wherein the policy regime is still ‘illiberal’ and far away from market dictated ‘neo-liberalism’. The point indeed is well-taken. From this perspective, it is only the characterisation that is problematic. Irrespective of the ‘ism’ followed by India’s policy regime, land acquisition by the ‘eminent domain’ for the public good and displacement without adequate resettlement,1 policies for which are still being fine-tuned, is still creating huge pockets of discontent, leaving a large sections of the poverty stricken populace to be recruited for ‘revolution’ by the Maoists. That processes, circumstances and consequences of acquisition of land by the government(s) in India is turning out to be curious is evident from the recent judgment of the Allahabad High Court relating to acquisition of land from farmers and sale to private builders in Noida/Greater Noida. Though neither Maoism, nor resettlement is an issue in these cases, but circumstantial and consequential anomalies of the land acquisition policies are, whatever ‘ism’ we use to explain this away.

That the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist politics in India beginning in Telangana in 1946 (then in Hyderabad state), travelling to Naxalbari in West Bengal a decade-and-a-half since its withdrawal on the advice of Stalin in 1951, surviving its obliteration in West Bengal in 1972 because of its sprouting in Srikakulam since the 1960s and gradual spread to the ‘red corridor’ since the founding of the People’s War Group (PWG) is well-analysed in social science literature, not all of which is supportive to this movement.2 Obviously, the spread is not merely due to a handful of ideologues and activists, they have found fertile ground in the areas they are entrenched in to build up a cadre and an armed militia that has been testing the might of the Indian state for two decades.

The argument that there are areas of more acute poverty without Maoist influence is fallacious, for the two are compatible but not causally linked. However, a look at the data on gradual spread of the red corridor shows that the Maoist ‘revolutionaries’ have succeeded in targeting poverty pockets for their spread. Obviously, in stating this, the SC has not shown any sympathy for the Maoists. In fact, in stating that the Indian state is ‘adopting the same modes, as done by Maoist/Naxalite extremists’ and ‘The problem, it is apparent to us, and would be so to most reasonable people, cannot be the people of Chhattisgarh, whose human rights are widely acknowledged to being systematically, and on a vast scale, being violated by the Maoists/Naxalites on one side, and the State, and some of its agents, on the other.’ There are more such references in the judgment. Obviously, the honourable judges are not endorsing the Maoists and criticising them for human rights violations. The point succinctly made is that the state must not behave as the Maoists.

It is in this connection that the honourable judges have ‘dared to’ give their critique of ‘neo-liberalism’ inviting a strong wrath of the Fourth Estate—‘Predatory forms of capitalism, supported and promoted by the State in direct contravention of constitutional norms and values, often take deep roots around the extractive industries…. The argument that such a development paradigm is necessary, and its consequences inevitable, is untenable.’ They have linked the consequences of these developments to be violative of the norms stated in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution: ‘Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual’. In their opinion, the spread of Maoism is part of this holistic scenario. They have not said anything new. In the past one decade, commentators on developments in Orissa, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have stressed the need to protect the interests of the adivasis and peasants in the face of increased activities of industrial expansion and mining. The entire policy debate on land acquisition, forest dwellers’ rights and some coherence in rehabilitation of the displaced arises out of the development dichotomy inherent in the economic policies that have been pursued lately, howsoever we describe them. I would be surprised if the honourable judges believe that this is reversible; but to point out that the Indian state must take care of the anomalies is not out of context.

The second set of arguments on public security is an extension of the first set of arguments. First, they have stressed that ‘(t)he primary task of the state is the provision of security to all its citizens, without violating human dignity.’ In this context they have questioned the pursuing of ‘policies whereby guns are distributed amongst barely literate youth amongst the poor to control the dissatisfaction in such segments of the population would tantamount to sowing of suicide pills that could divide and destroy society’. The section of the judgment on SJ is comprehensive, despite a strong criticism for its disbanding; the analysis based on complaints, questions raised against the initiative, the affidavits filed by the Union and State governments is comprehensive.

The Chhattisgarh Government has simultaneously claimed that the SJ is a people’s movement and that the SPOs have statutory sanction in the Chhattisgarh Police Act of 2007, which draws from the Indian Police Act 1861. This is a contradiction. In any case, the beginnings of SJ are unclear. According to one report, Salwa Judum began in June 2005 when the tribals of nearly 25 villages in Bijapur police district held a spontaneous anti-Naxal rally at Mathwada weekly market, declining the Naxal diktat to pay to them more rent and enhanced wages to labour for Tendu leaf picking, This is when Mahendra Karma, the then Congress MLA from Dantewada, took over as the leader and subsequently the State Government, and from behind-the-scenes the Union Government, stepped in to organise them further into an armed militia, if not a vigilante army. This was later mixed up with the shifting of the tribals from villages in the areas of Maoist influence into special camps and the youths from these camps, both boys and girls, were enrolled into it.3

It is in this process that at some stage the provisions for SPO in the Indian Police Act 1861 (Sections 17-19) were brought in. The Chhattisgarh Government has claimed application of not the Indian Police Act, but of the Chhattisgarh Police Act (CPA), 2007, enacted two years after the SJ came into existence. Sections 9 (1), (2), read together with Sections 23-25 and other such relevant sections govern the powers, responsibilities and functioning of the SPOs. The idea of SPOs in the Indian Police Act 1861 is interesting. If we ascend from Section 19 of the Act to 18 and 17, it is clear that the colonial government could compel anyone, in the manner of conscription, to act as an SPO, obviously when a situation of 1857 kind arose. In any case, it was designed as neighbourhood policing, not an armed militia. The CPA in comparison is vague about circumstances and functions.

It is not surprising that the SC has come down hard on the Chhattisgarh Government for endangering the lives of the SJ members or SPOs, as also on the Union Government for not preventing this using Article 355 of the Constitution.4 The SC has pricked large holes in the affidavits and arguments and these must be read carefully before handing out a blanket criticism of the judgment. The casualties of the SJ cited in the judgment, if they are real, are large enough for us to be cautioned. One of the arguments cited by the State Government is that these people know the terrain and area well and with arms training they can thwart the Maoist offensive. If we take only one case in point, the butchering of 77 CRPF personnel last year, who had not followed the standard operating procedure according to the E.N. Rammohan Committee, two stark points emerge. First, the SJ was not to be seen there to guide them. Second, if such a well-trained and seasoned force falters, how could we look at at the SJ as a counter-offensive against well-strategised Maoists. Further, if we look at the media reports of the past five years, there were several instances of the SJ members or SPOs misusing their new-found weapon, power and status against their own community. Some instances of their being used by the police as cannon fodders were also reported.

Before we damn the judgment, we should also consider the lapse on the part of the States in India in not only in filling up the sanctioned vacancies, but also in not reviewing it periodically. Chhattisgarh indeed had fewer sanctioned vacancies at all levels in December 2009—over 1000 at all levels, but special circumstances and the terrain of the State demands larger strength. It is a new State and still has a Police Academy coming up. The Jungle Warfare School, set up by the Union Government, has apparently not made a major dent in security so far.

Interrogating Public Security

BEYOND the sharp disagreements with it, the judgment should make us think hard on issues of public security in India. In the 64th year of independence an SC judgment questioning the raising and use (and dismantling) of a vigilante militia to tackle an extremist challenge, described by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh from the ramparts of the Red Fort in his address to the nation on independence day only five years back as the most serious internal security threat to the country, is being described in public discourse as a disastrous step that would irreparably compromise the Indian state’s mission against the Maoist challenge. Looking at the phenomenon and situation purely from a statist perspective and leaving aside the socio-economic and other circumstances that have led to its rise and spread, several questions arise.

First, any public security challenge within the national boundaries has to be first and continually taken care of by the police. That the police in State after State have been put into a sitting-duck situation against serious organised crime, terrorism and various kinds of extremist politics, including Maoism, for the past three decades raises serious questions on the efficacy of the policy-makers in India—both political and bureaucratic. Even if we forget all the exercises Police Commissions in different States did during the 1960s and early 1970s, the situation since the submission of the Dharam Vira Commission report in 1980 is comical, to say the least. The political class, so worried and exercised about judicial overreach since the two judgments lately, has made a mockery of the SC judgment on a PIL by Prakash Singh and others in 2006. The ‘tragedy of errors’ could not have starker than the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai. Following 26/11 only three years back, a draft of a counter-terrorism mechanism was presented to the government under the auspices of the Centre-State Relations Commission at work at that time.5 The recommendations on public security have not been discussed in the public domain at all. The press tsars who have slammed the judgment on this count have neither undertaken a sustained campaign for police reforms, nor have they spared their valuable time to review, discuss and make suggestions on the valuable exercise carried out by the Commission on internal security and Centre-State relations.

One significant point being totally missed in this alarmist debate is that we are talking about the use of police powers of the state, which in a democracy is significant for a discreet use of legitimised violence under the umbrella of the rule of law. In this case we are linking the right to ‘self-defence’ in a situation in which the state agencies designated for the purpose have proved unequal to challenge with the police powers of the state. The resulting anomalies and distortions have been discussed from time to time and the judgment too highlights this. The honourable judges have stressed that the SJ was not equipped to use legitimate, controlled, coercive violence that the Indian state is supposed to use in this situation. Another significant point is whether this militia was constituted with consent or coercion. This is extremely significant to determine whether the Indian state had judiciously passed on its responsibility to a ‘citizens’ militia’. Since the truth is somewhere in the middle, the apprehensions expressed in the judgment were not misplaced.

Summing Up

SHARP disappointments, dissenting voices and criticism notwithstanding, it is a significant judgment. Both in the areas of dichotomies arising out of the policies of a remiss state and public security, it makes bold statements. Indeed, the boldness of the statement, illustrated with a ‘graduate-student’ like thesis on neo-liberal policies, appears to have ruffled many feathers. But many of us have argued that in order to tackle the Maoist challenge, the Indian state has to seriously undertake to bridge decades of development deficit, be careful with regard to development dichotomies arising out of new developmental paradigm and carefully remove the displacement-rehabilitation hiatus that has existed since the 1950s and has found a new context in India’s globalised economy. Several studies have shown that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are the most affected by displacement.

The bold and comprehensive statement made on public security also deserves serious considerations. An SPO initiative of the Salwa Judum kind is only a fire-fighting a

The debate over the PIL filed in 2007 by Nandini Sundar and others challenging the ‘creation’ of Salwa Judum (SJ), variously translated from the Gondwani dialect as peace march or peace movement, as an armed tribal ‘vigilante group’, has taken a new turn in several respects since the Supreme Court of India struck down the use of tribal youths as a supplementary counter-insurgency force on Tuesday, July 5, 2011. Aside from expectedly mixed reactions both in the media and the public, three significant reactions need our attention and analysis. First, both the Union and Chhatisgarh governments expectedly reacted against it by expressing their intent to appeal to a larger SC Bench. Second, responding to some reactions in the government and the media circles that the members of the disbanded SJ could be targeted by the Maoists, the Maoists issued a blanket amnesty for those ‘adivasis’ who had joined the SJ under ‘government pressure’, thus reinforcing their friends-of-the-tribal image; simultaneously attempting to brush clean their own image as a ruthless group. Third, the Chhattisgarh Government, not to let go the ‘advantage’ it had gained with the SJ, declared that the former SJ members would be absorbed into the police as constables, even if that meant lowering the educational and physical standards laid down for recruitment to the constabulary. I will return to these issues a little later in my analysis.

The Media Reactions

THE INDIAN EXPRESS (July 7, 2011) editorialised this ‘Too Judgmental’ verdict rather pithily: ‘Rather than a granular approach that restricts itself to interpreting cases in the light of particular laws and statutes, the courts have enlarged their self-image, as populist champion and scold.’ In fact, drawing from some other recent judgments that it thought made the Court getting carried away, the daily felt: ‘The troubling thing about these judgments is not what they finally resolve, but their tendency to draw straight connections between diverse, highly specific cases about Salwa Judum, corruption in telecom license allocation or imperfect solutions to the land acquisition problem, to a cloudy abstraction called neo-liberalism.’

In a signed article ‘The Supreme Quote’ on July 9, 2011, Editor-in-Chief of The Indian Express Shekhar Gupta dubbed this and other recent judgments as having the intellectual depth of a JNU postgrad: ‘Large parts of these judgments are just lectures on political economy that makes you ask a legitimate question: what is the job of the judges, to interpret law, or to criticise/make/change economic policy.’ In a similar vein The Sunday Hindustan Times (July 10, 2011) column by Chanakya commented against ‘Neo-Judicial Ideologues?’: ‘The judiciary is not an op-ed page contributor or a JNU post-graduate in post-colonial studies.’ A scathing commentary on what is considered a case of ‘judicial overreach’ influenced by a superfluous academic red bastion of the country! However, prominent political economy analyst Swaminathan S. Akalesaria Aiyar (‘Neo-Illiberalism is India’s Bane’, The Times of India, June 17, 2011) argued that neo-liberalism that advocates market economy sans any governmental control had not yet taken shape anywhere ‘and never will’ as ‘governments do not come to power in order to abolish all their powers’. He called the Indian political economy as ‘neo-illiberalism’ coming out of the ‘New Delhi Consensus’ (not the Washington Consensus) —‘all parties are fully agreed on continuing to making money out of a smaller but hugely profitable license-permit raj’.

In a more sedate tenor The Pioneer editor-in-chief Chandan Mitra commented that ‘It is not my intention to suggest that their Lordships acted out of ignorance in declaring this mass movement “unconstitutional” and harangued the State Government for converting innocent tribals into armed vigilantes, but I do wish the judges had travelled to Bastar to acquaint themselves with the ground reality before passing this draconian order.’ (‘Flawed Verdict on Salwa Judum’, July 10, 2011) The Hindu (July 9, 2011) in its editorial, on the other hand, agreed with this ‘landmark verdict’: ‘In demanding an end to the SPO system, the Supreme Court has acted as much out of concern for the hapless tribal population of Dantewada as for the tribal youth who were press-ganged by their individual circumstances into becoming “cannon fodder” for the state.’

The Economic Times (July 11, 2011) agreed with the SJ part of the judgment. However, on its critique of the neo-liberal policies, it said: ‘…it is unfortunate that the Court chose to pass facile judgment on economic paradigms and develop-ment strategies…. That the Union Government can today spend lakh crores to advance popular welfare stems wholly from the success of the policies the Court dismissed as privatisation leading to emaciated state capacity to finance vital functions. The Court fails to distinguish between economic reforms and the unreformed, degenerate politics that aborts much of the emancipatory potential of economic reforms.’ The Times of India (July 10, 2011) report supported the verdict on SJ, but cautioned: ‘(b)y launching a tirade against neoliberalism, the court provides unnecessary ammunition to critics who accuse it of judicial overreach.’ Prakash Nanda in his editorial column in the Uday India (July 23, 2011) felt that ‘(t)he honourable Judges have effectively provided intellectual legitimacy by citing the factors of poverty and exploitation’. He over-stretched his argument by suggesting that if empowering the common people to make electoral choices was alright, how was it wrong to arm them in self-defence.

While the human rights camp of public personalities that spearheaded this PIL and campaign against the tribal militia is naturally elated in being vindicated, other reactions vary from being cautious in their optimism to a total dismay at the Apex Court upsetting the entire counter-insurgency operations by the Chhattis-garh and other concerned State governments organised around ‘cooperation’ with the local communities. Both the final outcome and the tenor of the judgment have been interpreted as being sympathetic to the Maoists, even anti-tribal, by this section of the public opinion. There is also a strong criticism of judicial over-reach in terms of criticising the Indian state on its developmental model at a time when strong arguments have been advanced in favour of second generation of reforms. Why should the Supreme Court of India indulge in rhetoric on neo-liberalism and go out of their immediate context to offer an ideological critique, when the reform process is far from complete. On the security front, disbanding a well-formed voluntary security structure, in the process jeopardising the Special Police Officer (SPO) system across States and endangering the lives of the disarmed SJ SPOs of Chhatisgarh. The larger concerns emanating out of a critique of a JNUsque criticism of ‘neo-liberalism’ by the Judiciary and its tendency to encroach upon the executive and legislative terrain is also significant.

The Judgment

THERE are two parts of the judgment— ‘analytical’/explanatory and operative. And there are two dimensions of the judgment—one with political implications and the second with public security implications.

Let me first look at the operative part of the judgment. The Honourable Court has ordered the Chhattisgarh Government to cease forthwith continuing with the SPOs, that is, disband the SJ; this stops the Union of India from funding any such initiative by any State Government, directs the Chhattisgarh Government to recall firearms from the SJ SPOs and protect their lives from the Maoists. Additionally, the judgment also declared the sections of the Chhattisgarh Police Act 2007 providing for the appointment of SPOs as unconstitutional. The Honourable Court further commented on the incident of violence against Swami Agnivesh in Chhattisgarh with concern and directed the CBI to investigate this matter and report to it in six weeks.

The ‘analytical’/explanatory part of the judgment declared ‘having the depth of a JNU postgrad writing’ by the press tsars consumes most part of the judgment in which the learned judges have quoted extensively from literature on related issues—classical and contemporary —to buttress their arguments. There are two sets of arguments in the judgment. The first set of arguments relate to poverty and deprivation, particularly of the traditionally dispossessed social groups such as the adivasis, and the second set of arguments is regarding public security and both eventually get intertwined in articulating the final judgment.

In the first set of arguments the judgment relates deprivation to rebellion that expresses itself in violent agitation politics. This is the section of the argument that some commentators have found both rhetorical as well as ‘dangerous’ rationalisation of the Maoist politics in India. Whether the learned judges have the luxury of rhetoric drawn from social science and political philosophy literature in a judicial pronouncement, or they should use only a prosaic legal language in explanation and verdict, is a separate issue. One among the main issues, as articulated by Aiyar, is whether the current economic situation in India, in which the politics of the Maoist kind has sustained and expanded since the 1980s, is due to ‘neo-liberal’ economic policies enforced by external pressures, or it is India’s own mess wherein the policy regime is still ‘illiberal’ and far away from market dictated ‘neo-liberalism’. The point indeed is well-taken. From this perspective, it is only the characterisation that is problematic. Irrespective of the ‘ism’ followed by India’s policy regime, land acquisition by the ‘eminent domain’ for the public good and displacement without adequate resettlement,1 policies for which are still being fine-tuned, is still creating huge pockets of discontent, leaving a large sections of the poverty stricken populace to be recruited for ‘revolution’ by the Maoists. That processes, circumstances and consequences of acquisition of land by the government(s) in India is turning out to be curious is evident from the recent judgment of the Allahabad High Court relating to acquisition of land from farmers and sale to private builders in Noida/Greater Noida. Though neither Maoism, nor resettlement is an issue in these cases, but circumstantial and consequential anomalies of the land acquisition policies are, whatever ‘ism’ we use to explain this away.

That the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist politics in India beginning in Telangana in 1946 (then in Hyderabad state), travelling to Naxalbari in West Bengal a decade-and-a-half since its withdrawal on the advice of Stalin in 1951, surviving its obliteration in West Bengal in 1972 because of its sprouting in Srikakulam since the 1960s and gradual spread to the ‘red corridor’ since the founding of the People’s War Group (PWG) is well-analysed in social science literature, not all of which is supportive to this movement.2 Obviously, the spread is not merely due to a handful of ideologues and activists, they have found fertile ground in the areas they are entrenched in to build up a cadre and an armed militia that has been testing the might of the Indian state for two decades.

The argument that there are areas of more acute poverty without Maoist influence is fallacious, for the two are compatible but not causally linked. However, a look at the data on gradual spread of the red corridor shows that the Maoist ‘revolutionaries’ have succeeded in targeting poverty pockets for their spread. Obviously, in stating this, the SC has not shown any sympathy for the Maoists. In fact, in stating that the Indian state is ‘adopting the same modes, as done by Maoist/Naxalite extremists’ and ‘The problem, it is apparent to us, and would be so to most reasonable people, cannot be the people of Chhattisgarh, whose human rights are widely acknowledged to being systematically, and on a vast scale, being violated by the Maoists/Naxalites on one side, and the State, and some of its agents, on the other.’ There are more such references in the judgment. Obviously, the honourable judges are not endorsing the Maoists and criticising them for human rights violations. The point succinctly made is that the state must not behave as the Maoists.

It is in this connection that the honourable judges have ‘dared to’ give their critique of ‘neo-liberalism’ inviting a strong wrath of the Fourth Estate—‘Predatory forms of capitalism, supported and promoted by the State in direct contravention of constitutional norms and values, often take deep roots around the extractive industries…. The argument that such a development paradigm is necessary, and its consequences inevitable, is untenable.’ They have linked the consequences of these developments to be violative of the norms stated in the Preamble of the Indian Constitution: ‘Fraternity assuring the dignity of the individual’. In their opinion, the spread of Maoism is part of this holistic scenario. They have not said anything new. In the past one decade, commentators on developments in Orissa, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have stressed the need to protect the interests of the adivasis and peasants in the face of increased activities of industrial expansion and mining. The entire policy debate on land acquisition, forest dwellers’ rights and some coherence in rehabilitation of the displaced arises out of the development dichotomy inherent in the economic policies that have been pursued lately, howsoever we describe them. I would be surprised if the honourable judges believe that this is reversible; but to point out that the Indian state must take care of the anomalies is not out of context.

The second set of arguments on public security is an extension of the first set of arguments. First, they have stressed that ‘(t)he primary task of the state is the provision of security to all its citizens, without violating human dignity.’ In this context they have questioned the pursuing of ‘policies whereby guns are distributed amongst barely literate youth amongst the poor to control the dissatisfaction in such segments of the population would tantamount to sowing of suicide pills that could divide and destroy society’. The section of the judgment on SJ is comprehensive, despite a strong criticism for its disbanding; the analysis based on complaints, questions raised against the initiative, the affidavits filed by the Union and State governments is comprehensive.

The Chhattisgarh Government has simultaneously claimed that the SJ is a people’s movement and that the SPOs have statutory sanction in the Chhattisgarh Police Act of 2007, which draws from the Indian Police Act 1861. This is a contradiction. In any case, the beginnings of SJ are unclear. According to one report, Salwa Judum began in June 2005 when the tribals of nearly 25 villages in Bijapur police district held a spontaneous anti-Naxal rally at Mathwada weekly market, declining the Naxal diktat to pay to them more rent and enhanced wages to labour for Tendu leaf picking, This is when Mahendra Karma, the then Congress MLA from Dantewada, took over as the leader and subsequently the State Government, and from behind-the-scenes the Union Government, stepped in to organise them further into an armed militia, if not a vigilante army. This was later mixed up with the shifting of the tribals from villages in the areas of Maoist influence into special camps and the youths from these camps, both boys and girls, were enrolled into it.3

It is in this process that at some stage the provisions for SPO in the Indian Police Act 1861 (Sections 17-19) were brought in. The Chhattisgarh Government has claimed application of not the Indian Police Act, but of the Chhattisgarh Police Act (CPA), 2007, enacted two years after the SJ came into existence. Sections 9 (1), (2), read together with Sections 23-25 and other such relevant sections govern the powers, responsibilities and functioning of the SPOs. The idea of SPOs in the Indian Police Act 1861 is interesting. If we ascend from Section 19 of the Act to 18 and 17, it is clear that the colonial government could compel anyone, in the manner of conscription, to act as an SPO, obviously when a situation of 1857 kind arose. In any case, it was designed as neighbourhood policing, not an armed militia. The CPA in comparison is vague about circumstances and functions.

It is not surprising that the SC has come down hard on the Chhattisgarh Government for endangering the lives of the SJ members or SPOs, as also on the Union Government for not preventing this using Article 355 of the Constitution.4 The SC has pricked large holes in the affidavits and arguments and these must be read carefully before handing out a blanket criticism of the judgment. The casualties of the SJ cited in the judgment, if they are real, are large enough for us to be cautioned. One of the arguments cited by the State Government is that these people know the terrain and area well and with arms training they can thwart the Maoist offensive. If we take only one case in point, the butchering of 77 CRPF personnel last year, who had not followed the standard operating procedure according to the E.N. Rammohan Committee, two stark points emerge. First, the SJ was not to be seen there to guide them. Second, if such a well-trained and seasoned force falters, how could we look at at the SJ as a counter-offensive against well-strategised Maoists. Further, if we look at the media reports of the past five years, there were several instances of the SJ members or SPOs misusing their new-found weapon, power and status against their own community. Some instances of their being used by the police as cannon fodders were also reported.

Before we damn the judgment, we should also consider the lapse on the part of the States in India in not only in filling up the sanctioned vacancies, but also in not reviewing it periodically. Chhattisgarh indeed had fewer sanctioned vacancies at all levels in December 2009—over 1000 at all levels, but special circumstances and the terrain of the State demands larger strength. It is a new State and still has a Police Academy coming up. The Jungle Warfare School, set up by the Union Government, has apparently not made a major dent in security so far.

Interrogating Public Security

BEYOND the sharp disagreements with it, the judgment should make us think hard on issues of public security in India. In the 64th year of independence an SC judgment questioning the raising and use (and dismantling) of a vigilante militia to tackle an extremist challenge, described by Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh from the ramparts of the Red Fort in his address to the nation on independence day only five years back as the most serious internal security threat to the country, is being described in public discourse as a disastrous step that would irreparably compromise the Indian state’s mission against the Maoist challenge. Looking at the phenomenon and situation purely from a statist perspective and leaving aside the socio-economic and other circumstances that have led to its rise and spread, several questions arise.

First, any public security challenge within the national boundaries has to be first and continually taken care of by the police. That the police in State after State have been put into a sitting-duck situation against serious organised crime, terrorism and various kinds of extremist politics, including Maoism, for the past three decades raises serious questions on the efficacy of the policy-makers in India—both political and bureaucratic. Even if we forget all the exercises Police Commissions in different States did during the 1960s and early 1970s, the situation since the submission of the Dharam Vira Commission report in 1980 is comical, to say the least. The political class, so worried and exercised about judicial overreach since the two judgments lately, has made a mockery of the SC judgment on a PIL by Prakash Singh and others in 2006. The ‘tragedy of errors’ could not have starker than the recent terrorist attack in Mumbai. Following 26/11 only three years back, a draft of a counter-terrorism mechanism was presented to the government under the auspices of the Centre-State Relations Commission at work at that time.5 The recommendations on public security have not been discussed in the public domain at all. The press tsars who have slammed the judgment on this count have neither undertaken a sustained campaign for police reforms, nor have they spared their valuable time to review, discuss and make suggestions on the valuable exercise carried out by the Commission on internal security and Centre-State relations.

One significant point being totally missed in this alarmist debate is that we are talking about the use of police powers of the state, which in a democracy is significant for a discreet use of legitimised violence under the umbrella of the rule of law. In this case we are linking the right to ‘self-defence’ in a situation in which the state agencies designated for the purpose have proved unequal to challenge with the police powers of the state. The resulting anomalies and distortions have been discussed from time to time and the judgment too highlights this. The honourable judges have stressed that the SJ was not equipped to use legitimate, controlled, coercive violence that the Indian state is supposed to use in this situation. Another significant point is whether this militia was constituted with consent or coercion. This is extremely significant to determine whether the Indian state had judiciously passed on its responsibility to a ‘citizens’ militia’. Since the truth is somewhere in the middle, the apprehensions expressed in the judgment were not misplaced.

Summing Up

SHARP disappointments, dissenting voices and criticism notwithstanding, it is a significant judgment. Both in the areas of dichotomies arising out of the policies of a remiss state and public security, it makes bold statements. Indeed, the boldness of the statement, illustrated with a ‘graduate-student’ like thesis on neo-liberal policies, appears to have ruffled many feathers. But many of us have argued that in order to tackle the Maoist challenge, the Indian state has to seriously undertake to bridge decades of development deficit, be careful with regard to development dichotomies arising out of new developmental paradigm and carefully remove the displacement-rehabilitation hiatus that has existed since the 1950s and has found a new context in India’s globalised economy. Several studies have shown that the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are the most affected by displacement.

The bold and comprehensive statement made on public security also deserves serious considerations. An SPO initiative of the Salwa Judum kind is only a fire-fighting arrangement. It must not be confused with a permanent answer to India’s widening public security gap. The honourable judges have widely quoted Philip Bobbitt, ‘if we act lawlessly, we throw away the gains of effective action.”

 

Doctors Aiding  Police to inflict 3rd degree Torture on  detainees 

By Stephen Lendman

In  April 2009, a confidential February 2007 ICRC torture report was publicly released. Titled, “ICRC Report on the Treatment of Fourteen ‘High Value Detainees’ in CIA Custody,” it detailed harsh and abusive treatment from their time of arrest, detention, transfer, and incarceration at Guantanamo where ICRC professionals interviewed them.

Besides detailed information on torture and abusive treatment, they obtained damning, consistent detainee accounts of medical personnel involvement, including:

— their monitoring of and direct participation in torture procedures;

— instructing interrogators to continue, adjust, or stop certain ones;

— informing detainees that medical treatment depended on their cooperation;

— performing medical checks before and after each transfer; and

— treating the effects of torture as well as ailments and injuries during incarceration.

Condoning or participating in torture grievously breaches medical ethics and the 1975 World Medical Association (WMA) Declaration of Tokyo “Guidelines for Physicians Concerning Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Relation to Detention and Imprisonment.” It states:

— in all cases at all times, “physician(s) shall not countenance, condone or participate in” torture or any other form of abuse;

— they “shall not use nor allow to be used (their) medical knowledge or skills, or health information” to aid interrogation in any way;

— they “shall not be present during any procedure during which torture or any other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment is used or threatened;”

— they “must have complete clinical independence” in treating persons for whom they’re medically responsible; and

— WMA encourages the international community and fellow physicians to support medical professionals who face “threats or reprisals resulting from a refusal to condone” all forms of torture and abuse.

Protocol I of the 1949 Geneva Conventions states:

“Persons engaged in medical activities shall neither be compelled to perform acts or to carry out work contrary to, nor be compelled to refrain from acts required by, the rules of medical ethics or other rules designed for the benefit of the wounded and sick, or this Protocol.”

On July 7, 2005 in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Gregg Bloche and Jonathan Marks published an article titled, “Doctors and Interrogators at Guantanamo Bay” in which they cited evidence that “Health information (was) routinely available to behavioral science consultants and others” engaged in interrogations, in violation of strict medical ethics.

In early 2003, detainee medical records were readily available, and since late 2002, psychiatrists and psychologists were involved in crafting extreme stress techniques “combined with behavior-shaping rewards to extract actionable intelligence from resistant captives.”

“Wholesale disregard for clinical confidentiality” seriously breaches medical ethics “since it makes every caregiver into an accessory to intelligence gathering.” It also “puts prisoners at greater risk for serious abuse.”

In July 2006, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) published a report titled, “Report on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba” that included evidence of medical personnel involvement in torture.

Detainee Othman Abdulraheem Mohammad was told that medical treatment would depend on his cooperation. Lakhdar Boumediene said every time he requested care he was told to ask permission from his interrogators. They “controlled his access, (and it) was granted or denied based on the interrogator’s assessment of his level of cooperation.”

Bosnian prisoner medical records confirmed that medical staff were present during their interrogations “and authorized (them) to proceed.”

Medical personnel monitored Mohammed al Qahtani’s interrogation during nearly two months of “severe sleep deprivation and physical stress.” At one point, they rushed him to the base hospital when his heart rate dropped dangerously low. After stabilization, they returned him the next day for more interrogation.

Other prisoners described doctors performing unnecessary and abusive procedures, including forced amputations, after which they were denied proper treatment.

Psychiatrists and psychologists designed “extreme interrogation techniques as part of the Behavioral Science Consultation Team (BSCT).” In late 2002, it was tasked “to torment detainees in interrogations….”

International and US Laws Prohibiting Torture

Numerous international and US laws unequivocally ban torture under all conditions at all times with no allowed exceptions ever, for any reasons, including in times of war.

The Third Geneva Convention covers war prisoners and detainees. It prohibits torture and protects their right to be treated humanely against “violence to life and person (and) humiliating and degrading treatment” as well as to judicial fairness and proper medical treatment. The Fourth Geneva Convention affords the same rights to civilians in times of war.

The federal anti-torture statute (18 USC, 2340A) prohibits its use outside the US and defines it as “an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering….upon another person within his custody or physical control.”

The 1991 Torture Victims Protection Act authorizes civil suits in America against individuals, acting in an official capacity for a foreign state, who committed torture and/or extrajudicial killing.

The 1984 UN Convention Against Torture bans all forms of torture, cruel and degrading treatment in all circumstances at all times with no exceptions ever allowed.

The US Constitution’s Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments prohibit cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment.

The US Army’s Field Manual 27-10 states that military or civilian persons may be punished for committing war crimes (that include abusive interrogations) under international law. Army Field Manual 34-52 outlines interrogation procedures and specifically prohibits force, mental torture, threats, and inhumane treatment.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) bans cruelty, oppression, actions intended to degrade or humiliate, and physical, menacing, and threatening assaults. Army Regulation (AR) 190-8 protects detainees from violence, assaults, and insults, and directs that they be treated humanely with respect.

The 1996 US War Crimes Act prohibits grave Geneva Convention breaches, including (as stipulated under Common Article III) “violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture (as well as) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.”

Other binding international laws also prohibit torture, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 1992 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights with no exceptions or justifications allowed, such as orders by field commanders, Pentagon officials, or the President of the United States.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)

Founded in 1986, PHR “mobilizes health professionals to advance health, dignity, and justice and promotes the right to health for all.” It also “investigates human rights abuses and works to stop them” in conflict zones, US prisons, and offshore detention facilities where torture is routinely practiced.

In 2005, it published a report titled, “Break Them Down: Systematic Use of Psychological Torture by US Forces,” which it called the first comprehensive examination of “the use of psychological torture by US personnel in the so-called ‘war on terror,’ ” including sensory deprivation, prolonged isolation, sleep deprivation, forced nudity, using fierce dogs to instill fear, cultural and sexual humiliation, mock executions, and threatened violence against loved ones.

It called the effects devastating and longer-lasting than physical torture, and said psychological abuse is morally reprehensible and illegal under international and US law.

In August 2009, PHR published a new report titled, “Aiding Torture: Health Professionals’ Ethics and Human Rights Violations Revealed in the May 2004 CIA Inspector General’s Report,” including ethical misconduct not previously known. It revealed the role of health professionals involved “at every stage in the development, implementation and legitimization of this torture program.”

It explained that doctors and psychologists actively participated in abusive interrogations and contributed to the physical and mental suffering of detainees. It called their actions “an unconscionable affront to the profession of medicine,” made worse by experimenting on inmates, then “aggregat(ing) data on (their) reaction to interrogation methods.”

PHR’s Steven Reisner said “They were experimenting and keeping records of the results,” a war crime under Geneva and the Nuremberg Code that requires “voluntary consent” of human subjects and prohibits experiments:

— that inflict “unnecessary physical and mental suffering and injury;”

— if there’s “an a priori reason to believe death or disabling injury will occur;” and

— from being implemented if there’s reason to believe they’ll cause “injury, disability, or death to the experimental subject.”

PHR’s report detailed the psychological and medical effects:

— forced shaving inflicts psychological harm “by means of humiliation, both personal and religious;”

— hooding disorients and causes acute anxiety depression, depersonalization, and abnormal behavior;

— dietary manipulation inflicts discomfort and psychological stress;

— prolonged diapering causes physical and psychological stress and harm;

— walling inflicts physical injuries as well as psychological stress, rage, and helplessness;

— confinement in a box in extreme stress positions causes extreme physical and psychological pain and trauma; and

— other abuses, including waterboarding that simulates drowning and the feeling of helplessness to prevent it.

Involvement of Medical Professionals

They help develop, implement, provide cover for, and justify torture and abusive practices. They’re actively involved in designing harmful interrogation techniques in clear violation of the law and medical ethics. They’re “complicit in selecting and then rationalizing (methods) whose safety and efficacy in eliciting accurate information have no valid basis in science.” Their actions constitute “a practice that approaches unlawful experimentation.”

CIA guidelines require health professionals, including a doctor and psychologist, to be present during enhanced interrogations, “thereby placing (them) in the untenable position of calibrating harm rather than serving as protectors and healers as” their ethical code demands.

They also participate in initial physical and psychological assessments, then monitor all subsequent interrogations. They know their actions are harmful, unethical, and illegal, yet they serve willingly.

PHR believes they should be investigated on charges of “alleged criminal conduct.” Those proved guilty should be prosecuted, lose their license, professional society memberships, and any standing in the medical community henceforth.

 

 

Edited, printed , published owned by NAGARAJA.M.R. @ #LIG-2 / 761,HUDCO FIRST STAGE ,OPP WATER WORKS , LAXMIKANTANAGAR , HEBBAL ,MYSORE – 570017INDIA… cell :09341820313 

home page :   http://groups.yahoo.com/group/naghrw  , http://groups.google.co.in/group/hrwepaper / ,  http://sites.google.com/site/sosevoiceforjustice / , http://evoiceofhumanrightswatch.wordpress.com / , http://indiapolicelaw.blogspot.com /  ,  http://naghrw.tripod.com/evoice/  ,  

http://e-voiceofhumanrightswatch.blogspot.com  http://paper.li/f-1368369249

 

 

Contact  :  naghrw@yahoo.com  , nagarajhrw@hotmail.com ,

http://www.amnesty.org/en/user/naghrw 

A   Member  of  Amnesty  International   

 

 

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