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War on Naxals is a conspiracy to grab their ancestral land: Arundhati Roy

October 3, 2010

“The war on Naxals is a conspiracy to acquire their ancestral land for industrial use. The deployment of security forces in the Naxal-affected States is a violation of the Human Rights Act,” said writer-activist Arundhati Roy.

She was addressing a two-day seminar organised by the Jharkhand Alternative Development Forum and the Operation Green Hunt Virodhi Manch here on Sunday.

She also heard the complaints of deprived tribal communities against the State and the Central Reserve Police Force.

“The Operation Green Hunt is on only at sites earmarked for mining projects, which clearly indicates the role of the government in driving out the tribals alleged to be Maoists,” she alleged.

Later speaking to journalists, she said: “Maoists who wanted to be peace envoys were killed by the police without even being heard. The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act [UAPA] is a weapon to displace tribals [and the] government is dubbing them as militants.”

Backing sovereignty for Jammu and Kashmir, the Booker Prize winner said the government should accept the verdict of the people; it cannot force democracy on them by using the Army.

Father Stan Swami, a human rights activist, said: “The State government arrested 168 people under the UAPA, displaced 18 lakh tribals and 15 lakh acres of land has been taken away, without the consent of the tribals.”

“Fake encounters”

On encounter killings, he said: “The police are killing people and harassing them. Almost all the encounters are fake. There are about 100 schools where the the CRPF are camping to combat Naxalism. This, in turn, has deprived the children of education in those areas.”

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