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Caught between two sickles: The story of women living in the red corridor Shwetika Kumar

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1 Caught between two sickles: The story of women living in the red corridor Shwetika Kumar (

2 Naxalism: The genesis 1967,Naxalbari, West Bengal – Violent uprising by a section of Communist Party of India (Marxist) – The rebellion spreads to regions including West Bengal, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and parts of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. May 1968 – All India Coordination Committee of Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR) is formed May 1969 – AICCR splits into Maoist Communist Centre (MCC) and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) All these outfits converged on the idea of an “armed struggle”


4 Salwa Judum – An unchecked power 2005,Bijapur, Chhattisgarh – Literally means “purification hunt” or “”peace march” – Started as a vigilante group or people’s resistance movement against the Naxals by the people of Chhattisgarh – State government adopts the organization to restore democratic rule in the Naxal affected – Spread to hundreds of villages in the districts of Chhattisgarh – Violent raids, rapes, human rights abuses, burning of homes, displacement of people, herding of villages and tribals into make shift camps – Held responsible for “reported” 537 murders, 99 rapes, 103 cases of arson and burning of 644 villages

5 Special Police Officers (SPO’s) – Special Police Officers popularly known as the Koya commandos – Tribal youth drawn from Salwa Judum camps and ex-naxalites employed by the State police of Chhattisgarh – Paid honorarium of Rs.3000 ($60) per month by the State (as of 2011) Bal Sangam – Group of child soldiers appointed by the Salwa Judum – Over 12,000 minors appointed in 2008 – The youngest minors are aged 6 years

6 Internal Displacements 23 camps across Chhattisgarh 50,000 displaced villagers from 600 villages 65,000 villagers fled to Maharashtra 30,000 – 50,000 settled in Andhra Pradesh

7 “Neither the government nor the Naxals have left any room for neutrality”

8 Violence against women Violence of Salwa Judum has serious repercussions on women Many young girls working as SPO’s end up as victims of rape by fellow male colleagues Women in Salwa Judum camps reduced to selling their bodies for as low as Rs.30 (60 cents) Many victims of rape, sexual abuses put in police custody and labeled as “naxalite” or murdered With no security in the Judum camps the women also suffer at the hands of Naxalites who attack these camps from time to time The police refuse to accept complaints and the women are threatened with “severe consequences” if they try to speak up

9 The forgotten Soni Soris of India Background: 28 year old tribal woman from Gompad village in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh Shot in the leg by security forces on Oct 1 st 2009 in front of her children aged 3 and 5 Missing since January 2010 after police detained her for questioning Her Crime: Witness to a massacre in her village by security forces and SPO’s Sodi Sambo

10 NAME: Sodi AGE: A minor when raped DISTRICT: Dantewada ACCUSES: Salwa Judum SPOs NAME: Madvi Sarita AGE: 25-30 DISTRICT: Dantewada ACCUSES: Salwa Judum, Naga battalion, paramilitary forces NAME: Gantal AGE: Possibly between 18-20 years old DISTRICT: Bijapur ACCUSES: Salwa Judum SPOs of raping and killing his sister, and killing his father

11 Humanitarian Catastrophe!

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