Press Note on Joint Protest Demonstration Condemn the ‘Massacre’ in Malkangiri District, Odisha at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on 2 November (Wednesday) 2016
It was not an “encounter” as claimed by AP and Odisha Governments. It was a massacre of local adivasi people, cadres and leaders of CPI (Maoist) in an unprecedented covert operation that took place in the Malkangiri District of Odisha on the 24 October 2016. So far in this brutal massacre, about 39 people were killed according to the leaders of Adivasi Organisations in the region. The brutality and the secrecy of this joint operation of the police forces of Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Union’s paramilitary forces reveal that it was a well-planned cold-blooded massacre.
Initially the AP Police announced only 15 people as being killed. In the next few days, more killings were announced claiming that more people were being killed in the ensuing combing operations in the forest, though all of them were captured, tortured and killed on the same day. The families revealed that there were brutal marks of torture on the bodies they received. Most bodies were unidentifiable. Heads were cut off from the rest of the bodies. Breast of women were cut off. Most names announced were not matching with the bodies. Many families informed by the police to receive the bodies found no member of their family among the dead bodies.
Earlier 28 bodies were shifted to the Malkangiri Police Superintendent’s office, from where only 11 bodies were given to the families from Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, while 2 bodies were shifted to Paderu Government Hospital in Vishakhapatnam District. On 30 October (Sunday, Diwali) the Malkangiri police buried the remaining bodies saying that no one came to claim those bodies. These adivasis were mostly from Maad region of Bastar and some from Malkangiri. Regarding the rest of the adivasi people killed, the police of the two states have not provided any information.
Adivasis of Gurrasetti Junction in Malkangiri District demonstrated protesting that 13 adivasis of their Panchayat have been missing since 24 October incident. Half of the people killed in this operation were adivasis and there were more women than men among the massacred. Adivasi leaders also informed the press that they received information from the place of the fake encounter that about 9 more adivasi people along with Ramakrishna (RK) alias Akkiraju Haragopal, Central Committee member of CPI Maoist were in the custody of the police since 24 October. He was seriously injured, but police weren’t allowing any medical treatment. Gaajarla Ravi, another Central Committee member was suspected that he was also injured and encircled without medical treatment.
Meanwhile, the Hyderabad High Court gave a ruling on 31st October 2016 that Ramakrishna (RK), CPI-Maoist Central Committee leader and 10 others, who have been in the custody of the police since 24 Oct should be protected. The High Court ordered AP Government that there should be no danger to their lives. The court asked the Govt. to produce RK and others in the court and the court believed that RK was in the police custody. The High Court also ordered that by Thursday AP Govt. should file an affidavit regarding the safety of RK and others. This unprecedented and massive military operation is aimed at capturing adivasi lands and forest as part of Operation Green Hunt and Mission 2016, particularly in Andhra-Odisha border districts where huge deposits of Bauxite worth 140 lakh crore rupees is available. This massacre is planned to suppression the resistance of adivasis in the region to handover the bauxite mines to the corporate houses.
1. A Judicial Enquiry by a Supreme Court Judge should be ordered to establish the facts of the massacre.
2. Akkiraju Haragopal (Ramakrishna, RK) and 10 others under the custody of Andhra Pradesh government should be immediately produced in a court of law.
3. Stop immediately combing operations in the Andhra- Odisha border forests and stop harassment of Adivasis.
4. A murder case should be booked on the police officers and personnel responsible for the brutal massacre.
ABSF, AIPWA, AISA, AISF, BASO, Bastar Solidarity Network (Delhi Chapter), BSCEM, CFI, CPI, CPI (M-L) New Democracy, CPI (M-L) Liberation, CRPP, DSU, IMK, KNS, Matidari, NCHRO, NFIW, Nowroz, PFI, PUDR