Monday, October 24, 2016





1.    Madvi Sula, Morpalli village – killed on 11 March 2011 (shot in tree)
2.    Badse Bhima, Pulanpad village – picked up from Pulanpad on 13th and killed in Timapuram village on 14th March 2011
3.    Manu Yadav, Pulanpad village – picked up from Pulanpad on 13th and killed in Chintalnar on 15th March 2011. 

1.    Sodi Nanda, Tadmetla – burnt alive in fuelwood stack by SPOs, Judum and security forces in December 2007
2.    Aimla Suka, Ramanguda para, Pulanpad – tied up and burnt alive inside his house by Judum/security forces, 2007
3.    Aimla Guddi, Pulanpad – had gone to his in-laws in Lakhapal, was picked up by the security forces/Judum and finally killed in Chimlipenta, 2007


1.    Nupe Rajulu, Morpalli – old man, died on 12th March after his house and others in village were burnt on 11th March
2.    Madkam Mangdi – old woman, died on 13th March after her house and others in village were burnt on 11th March
3.    Madvi Joga – old man, died on 13th March after his house and others in village were burnt on 11th March.


1.    AM, Jonapara, Morpalli village – 11th March, in the village, in front of small daughter
2.    ML, Jonapara, Morpalli village – 11th/12th March – custodial rape, Chintalnar thana
3.    MJ, Chindpara, Tadmetla, 16th March, in the village, badly cut near her eye

All three had money/jewelry stolen from them


1.    33 houses burnt in Morpalli village – 11 March
2.    59 houses burnt in Timapuram village – 14/15 March
3.    160 households (207 structures) burnt in Tadmetla village – 16 March

1.    6 houses burnt by Judum in Ramanguda para, Pulanpad
2.    57 houses burnt by Judum in Morpalli village


1.    Madkam Deva, Gollaboonda para, Pulanpad – Rs. 4.5 lakh stolen from his house by Koya commandos. He was saving this to buy a tractor.
2.    Chickens, goats, pigs, jewelry, cash and other goods from all villages


1.    Madvi Bhime, 65-70 year old woman, Morpalli village – badly beaten, 11 March
2.    Muchaki Hadma, 25 year old, grenade injury from grenade thrown by Koya commandos/security forces, while collecting mahua
3.    Madkam Hidme, 50-60 year old, grenade injury from grenade thrown by Koya commandos/security forces, while collecting mahua
4.    Women of Tadinpara para, Tadmetla – who were rounded up and beaten in beech para/Gondin para – while the Koya Commandos/security forces set fire to their houses

Testimonies submitted to CBI and Court

Morpalli village
1.    Collective testimony of Morpalli villagers
2.    MB, mother of Madvi Sula, murder victim
3.    ML, rape victim
4.    AM, rape victim
5.    MB, old woman who was beaten
6.    List of estimated losses in 2011 and 2007 (XL sheet)

Timapuram village
1.    Collective testimony by villagers
2.    List of villagers whose houses were burnt and looted, para wise
3.    Estimated losses of most houses (incomplete list as some villagers were not present) – XL sheet

Pulanpad village
1.    MY, widow of Manu Yadav
2.    BL, widow of Badse Bhima
3.    Madkam Hidme and Muchaki Hadma, grenade injury victims
4.    Madkam Deva, 4.5 lakh loot victim

Tadmetla village
1.    Collective testimony of women of Tadinpara
2.    MJ, rape victim
3.    Sodi Ganga, brother of Sodi Nanda who was burnt alive in 2007

Timeline of Salwa Judum/SPO related events in
March-JUly 2011

CRPF and district police plan a two day joint operation starting Friday March 11 – at about 2 AM in the morning from Chintalnar Base Camp. About 200 SPOs and Koya Commandos and about 150 CRPF, comprising primarily of the CoBRA battalion. Information received that there was an arms factory in Morpalli (which they did not find) (source: Aman Sethi, Hindu 23rd March).

Actual Incidents as verified by Nandini Sundar, 20-23 December 2011 (also fits in with story by Aman Sethi, Hindu, 23 March)

March 11: Koya Commmandos (SPOs)/Security forces attack Morpalli; a young man Madvi Sula shot at in tree and killed. Madvi Bime, old woman, was badly beaten up.  Rs. 10,000 was stolen from AM and she was raped in front of her daughter.  Forces arrest MG, his son B and daughter L; and rape L in thana all night. 33 houses burnt.
March 12-13: 3 old people in Morpalli village, Nupe Rajulu, Madkam Mangdi and Madvi Joga, die of starvation and thirst after houses were burnt and they were left in the village, when everyone else had fled.
March 13:  Forces attack Pulanpad (Pulam). Two people (Muchaki Hadma and Madkam Hidme) got grenade injuries; Madkam Deva’s house was looted and 4.5 lakh stolen.  Forces took away Badse Bheema and Manu Yadav. Police spend 13th night in Timapuram and loot chickens etc.
March 14:  Forces head towards Bodkel. Just outside Timapuram village, Maoists ambush the forces in which one Maoist and three Koya commandos are killed. Forces return to Timapuram and burn 17 houses in Morotpara. They kill Badse Bhima and leave the body in the village.
March 15:   Koya Commandos burned 42 houses and granaries in Gupididpara, Patelpara and Golapara of Timapuram village (59 houses burnt in all).  They take away Manu Yadav who they had picked up in Pulpanpad village and kill him in Chintalnar.  
March 16: Forces come from Chinatalnar and attack Tadmetla. 207 structures (houses, granaries etc.) belonging to 160 families burnt in Tadmetla village. MJ assaulted violently, cut on the face with a knife, and raped. Women beaten up.  Madvi Handa and Madvi Aita from Tadinpara taken away by forces, first to Chintalnar and then Sukma.

(based on news reports and court proceedings)

March 23: The Hindu and Rajasthan Patrika report on the incidents. (Marawi files FIR after this claiming naxals burnt houses)
March 24: District Collector sends relief trucks and orders local enquiry, offers compensation of Rs. 25,000 for houses. Collector and Commissioner not allowed to go by police.  SPOs call them Maoist supporters.
March 25: SPOs, led by Kartam Surya, assault truck driver carrying relief. Journalists stopped from going and beaten up. Kartam has a non-bailable arrest warrant issued against him for rape, and is claimed by the police to be absconding, but lives in police barracks.
March 26: Swami Agnivesh, Art of Living Representatives, Addl SP Marawi and journalists brutally attacked by Salwa Judum and SPOs at Dornapal.
March 27: FIR filed by ASP Marawi names Salwa Judum leaders in the mob
March 28: NHRC seeks report on police excesses
March 28: Opposition boycotts Vidhan Sabha demanding a proper enquiry. Chhattisgarh Home Minister blames the arson on the Maoists.
March 28: Nandini Sundar and ors file affidavit detailing attacks on 3 villages and Swami Agnivesh
March 29: Supreme Court orders Commissioners in Right to Food case to visit affected villages to investigate reports of starvation deaths
March 30: Chhattisgarh government orders judicial probe
April 2:  CM, Governor and DGP visit Tadmetla village, offer BPL cards to 96 families and jobs as schoolteachers, anganwadi etc to locals.  Distribute a mere 17 quintals of rice, no relief for Morpalli or Timapuram. Forces steal chickens from village and prevent villagers from talking to CM freely.   
April 5: State Government announces a judicial probe by District Judge under Commission of Enquiry Act
April 6: Mr. Salve promises to Court he will persuade state government to appoint a high court judge, and also look into the case of Kartam Surya, SPO who is wanted for rape and declared absconding but lives in police barracks, as well as other SPOs
April 6: Harsh Mander, SC Commissioner in Right to Food case visits Morpalli – not allowed to visit other villages. Finds starvation-like conditions.
Police take away Nupo Mutta and Madvi Nanda who translated for Harsh Mander; they are tied up; Nanda is slapped by SSP Kalluri for telling the truth to Harsh Mander. They are released only the next day when women go to get them.
April 13: Chhattisgarh files its affidavit – silent on the promises made by Mr. Salve, no mention of Kartam Surya, no denial of anything contained in Nandini Sundar affidavit of March 28, 2011.
25 April: Supreme Court records statement of CG counsel, Salve that CM Raman Singh will write to High Court of CG or MP asking for the services of a sitting judge.
10 May: NGO relief mission delivers relief
12 May: Justice TP Sharma appointed to head commission of enquiry. (has not visited villages)
5 July: SC orders CBI to enquire into incidents
December 2011:  Villagers anxious for CBI visit; send letters to CBI and SC.
January 2012: CBI visits villages for first time, takes saree of MJ for forensic analysis of rape - one of the two sarees she has which has been washed many times
February 2012: CBI attacked by SPOs at Dornapal
CBI refuses to visit villages any more; calls villagers to Jagdalpur to depose
October 2016: CBI files chargesheets against 7 SPOs and 26 salwa judum leaders


1.    Morpalli village – Out of 33 houses which were burnt in 2011, 31 houses have got compensation of Rs. 25,000 each. They have also got variable compensation for property losses, which are, however, not commensurate with actual losses in many cases. 
2.    Timapuram: All 59 houses burnt in 2007 have got Rs. 25,000 each for house construction. 56 houses have got Rs. 20,000 each uniformly for property loss. This does not cover actual losses, and the variations in losses. 3 Households have not got even this money.

3.   Tadmetla village – Out of 160 houses, 22 are still to be compensated Rs. 25,000 for house burning. The village had made a list of possessions lost in each house, which tahsildar has taken. Variable compensation given for each house (don’t know on what basis this was calculated).

Friday, July 29, 2016

Irom Sharmila and the Will to Live a Normal Life

On March 30, 2016 a Delhi trial court acquitted Irom Sharmila on charges of attempting to commit suicide, recognising that hers was a political fight for the right to life, and not a death wish. When a friend and I visited her the previous evening in Manipur house, she expressed satisfaction that she had been able to make her point freely before the judge. Denied the opportunity to talk to friends or political comrades, shut up alone in a hospital room for nearly 16 years with only her minders for company, Sharmila’s fast was always about more than abstinence from food – it was also simultaneously the story of India’s longest serving political prisoner and her singular courage under incarceration.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Ester Boserup Lecture 2016

Opening Remarks of Boserup Lecture: 

I am deeply honoured to be asked to give the 2016 Ester Boserup lecture. I first read Women’s Role in Economic Development, as a graduate student in the late 1980s.  In preparing for this lecture, it was with such a sense of delight that I re-discovered some of her remarkable insights – for instance, female support for polygamy as a way of minimizing the burden of housework and husband care. Her description of how colonial economies led to the deterioration of women’s status vis-à-vis men and how they relied on the unpaid labour of women, predates much of the work of contemporary historians on this subject, locating it firmly within an ecological and technological base.

In her memoirs, ‘My professional life and publications’ one can see how at the core of all Boserup’s thought is a commitment to internationalism, to socialism, to interdisciplinarity and truth. In the context of the area that I will talk about today, the predominantly indigenous and forested belt of central India, which is facing a protracted war between Maoist guerillas and the Indian state, what is particularly important about Boserup is her refusal to accept easy characterisations of certain parts of the world as backward or certain practices as irrational, showing how rationality is located in the way communities manage the relationship between population, land and technology.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

In Bastar, it looks as if the failed Salwa Judum idea is being given a fresh lease of life

The security establishment never tires of claiming that human rights activists are partisan, and only blame the state. But when they do expose Maoist crimes, the police is not interested. One wonders if the establishment’s problem is really the Maoists – in whose name the state is spending several thousand crores on militarisation – or rights activists and the idea of democracy they uphold.   

Last week, four of us, including a colleague from JNU, visited Bastar division. The press release we issued upon our return is unequivocal in blaming both the Maoists and the police for the current vulnerabilities of villagers. However, the police have drummed up a campaign vilifying us, claiming, ridiculously, that we threatened villagers with Maoist retaliation and instigated them against the police. The Bastar collector, Amit Kataria, has added to this by circulating fake complaints on social media, fuelling the ongoing anti-JNU hysteria.