This post by ROHINI HENSMAN is an article published on the Outlookindia.com website on April 22, 2010.
To people desperately trying to avert a bloodbath in the forest belt, the recent PUDR statement on the massacre of 76 CRPF jawans in Dantewada caused considerable consternation, and Sumanta Banerjee’s response to it even more so. According to the PUDR statement,
‘As a civil rights organization we neither condemn the killing of security force combatants nor that of the Maoists combatants, or for that matter any other combatants, when it occurs’.
‘these soldiers, by being cannon-fodders of the Indian state, however tragic it might be, suffered the fate that – I’m sorry to say – they deserved…To come back to the latest incident of the Maoist attack on the CRPF camp in Chhattisgarh…. if we accept it as a part of a civil war, such killings are inevitable (just as the CRPF killings of Maoists) in a violent system that has been institutionalized by the Indian state. The difference between the CRPF violence (involving ‘false encounters’, raping of tribal women, burning their homes, etc.) on the one hand, and the Maoist violence on the other (which means attacks on oppressive landlords and the police and para-military forces like the CRPF which come to the aid of the landlords) – has to be distinguished by civil society groups’