'Brutality' in Chhattisgarh anti-Maoist offensive, say rights groups

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 30, 2009 13:54 hrs

Civil rights activists Friday alleged 'massive brutality' in Chhattisgarh's Dantewada region during the offensive against Maoist rebels and demanded the operation be ended immediately.

A 15-member fact-finding team comprising members of civil rights groups including People's Union for Civil Liberties in Chattisgarh, People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) from Delhi, Vanwasi Chetna Ashram (VCA) from Dantewada, Human Rights Law Network, international aid body Action Aid and others, claimed 'large scale brutality' was witnessed in the region on Sep 17 and Oct 1.

The team alleged on both these days, security forces charged with countering Maoist guerillas in 'Operation Green Hunt' went on a rampage.

The civil rights groups demanded that the government must accept responsibility for the murders and file complaints against those responsible and must also acknowledge instances of torture, illegal detention and destruction of property.

VCA's Himanshu Kumar claimed that the tribals felt 'attacked by the government'.

'Along with this, there should be an immediate end to cordon and search operations carried out by security forces in these areas. Lack of rehabilitation and increasing size of paramilitary forces in such backward areas with low population raises fears of repeated atrocities,' members of the fact finding team said.