Panel Discussion on Atrocities in Red Corridor and Left Wing Extremism
Red Corridor Left Wing Extremism Tribal violence Alienation of land
The panel discussion was on the impact of violence in the Red Corridor and left wing extremism. The Red Corridor is about areas affected by Naxals violence on tribal development and traditions. Apart from these manifestations, the Naxals violence has led to the aggravation of poverty, it has meant low levels of literacy, it has meant very poor health facilities being available, it has also meant that some of the primitive tribal groups or the PTGs, as they are called, which were facing extinction, they are being pushed further towards extinction. That also is something which should cause us to worry. Another phenomenon which is happening under the garb of violence is conversions are also taking place. This is also a very terrible impact. There are child soldiers, bal dastas, bal sanghams, which have been raised by the Maoists. Ostensibly they will act as runners, couriers, watch boys, but these boys think that after this period of apprenticeship, as they grow up, as they become adults, they will be recruited in the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army. So, this large number of child soldiers - it was estimated some years back that their number is about 2,500 are forcibly taken away from their families. Families are told that they have to contribute to one child. So, these Bal Sanghas is another thing. After that, there was a question of land alienation. Now, land alienation is both the cause as well as the effect of the movement and the violence which has taken place. It is more of a cause but it is also the effect. On the question of land alienation also, the picture is very heartrending. It says, In the process of alienating land from the tribals, it seems to the Expert Group as if private individuals, derelict Revenue Officers, including Deputy Commissioners, unscrupulous lawyers ignorant civil courts and even the better-off tribals themselves have all joined hands as it were to deprive the tribal communities of their land.