Condemnation statement on the brutal murder of Gond Adivasis in Khargone, MP

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All India Union of Forest Working People (AIUFWP) and Delhi Solidarity Group (DSG) condemn the brutal murder of Gond Adivasi; Sampat Batti and Dhansai Invati at the hands of members of Bajrang Dal and the demolition drive carried out by the revenue department along with Bajrang Dal Goons targeting Muslim owned properties in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh.

We strongly condemn the brutal murder of Gond Adivasi; Sampat Batti and Dhansai Invati at the hands of members of Bajrang Dal on the 2nd of May 2022 at Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh and the demolition drive carried out by the revenue department along with Bajrang Dal Goons on the 11th of April 2022 targeting Muslim owned properties in Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh.

The violent incidents taking place in Seoni district and Khargone district of Madhya Pradesh has a common perpetrator and a pattern. All such violent attacks on the Adivasi and Muslim community has witnessed a spark, aftermath of the violent Ram Navami procession which was held on the 10th April 2022 at Khargone district. The procession too was facilitated by Bajrang Dal members and was held under the supervision of the state government and local administration of Madhya Pradesh. 

According to a statement issued by Jagrut Adivasi Dalit Sangathan; two persons from the Gond Adivasi community namely, Sampat Batti from Sagar town and Dhansai Invati belonging to the Simaria village from Kurai block, were brutally assaulted by Bajrang Dal members on the 2nd of May, Monday morning at around 3:00 am. Dhansai’s home at Simaria village was ransacked by Bajrang Dal goons. More than a dozen of Bajrang Dal affiliated members entered their house with sticks and weapons. They carried out a brutal physical assault on all the members present in the house which included Sampat Batti, Brajesh Batti, Jaiprakash Invati and Dhansai’s wife. Due to the physical injuries sustained by the onslaught at the hands of the goons, Sampat Bhatti and Dhansai succumbed to their injuries while being taken to the hospital. The other members in the family were grievously injured and are traumatized by the violent incident which killed two of their loved ones. Later the police station officer accused persons were members of Bajrang Dal and six persons were members of Shri Ram Sena.

The Adivasi people in that Region highlights about the fact that the members affiliated to organizations such as Bajrang Dal and Shri Ram Sena which are linked with Bhartiya Janta Party, the ruling political party in Madhya Pradesh carried out violent attacks on Adivasi and Muslim communities. They carry forward violent attacks under the guise of religion and ‘cow protection’. The goons are attacking the common man, flouting the law and order situation. They also stated that it’s the Adivasi people which keep the cattle as family members, but we strongly oppose the way humans are being killed in the name of cows. Those who have never reared a cow, do not know anything about its care, they are killing humans today by calling themselves “cow protectors”. Instead of instilling compassion and love in the minds of youth of the nation, violence and hate is being instilled in the minds of the youths in today’s India. Instead of pens, weapons are being held by the youths of this nation.

This is not the first incident of such atrocities on the Adivasi community. In Madhya Pradesh, this type of barbaric attack on Adivasi had been in continuity for past few years. In the same year, Bisan Bhil and Kishan Nihal died in police custody in Bistan (Khargone) and Omkareshwar (Khandwa) in September 2021. Even after being found guilty in the judicial inquiry, till date not a single culprit has been arrested by the police. In May 2021, in Namvar, entire Korku Adivasi family was murdered by Surendra Rajput, who claimed to be the leader of the “Hindu Kesaria Sangathan”. In August 2021, Kanhaiyalal Bhil, a poor Adivasi laborer in Neemuch, was dragged and beaten to death on a common road.

Last month, on the auspicious occasion of Ramzan, on the 6th of April, dozens of houses of Muslim community of Khargone were demolished by bull-dozers, hundreds of children and youths were thrown in jail without any warrant or any First Information Report (FIR) and a person was beaten to death by the police of Khargone district. On the contrary, online FIR’s registered by the Muslim community were forcibly withdrawn by the police via intimidation. The police station was occupied by the goons affiliated with the ruling Party. The goons intimidated the aggrieved people at the police station and restricted them to file any FIR’s against the culprits. Instead of giving justice to the innocent victims the state government is treating its people worse than the slaves. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh along with its associated organizations such as Bajrang Dal, Shri Ram Sena and Hindu Kesaria Sangathan have become unbridled, due to which their activities have become barbaric towards the common citizens poor working class.

BJP is furious, because in the last assembly elections they had to face heavy defeat in the Adivasi populated regions. Congress party formed the government in Madhya Pradesh during the last assembly election which was held in 2018. But the BJP grabbed power through a corrupt political method by removing the Congress party from power through horse-trading their MLAs. As, 2023 Legislative Assembly elections is approaching the communal polarization, intimidation and hate tactics is been flaunted by the BJP at the expense of poor people’s lives and security.

The incidents are so gruesome that massive protest has taken place in both the areas by Adivasi and Muslim community. In protest against this killings, demolitions and sufferings, a demonstration was held at the district headquarters on the 9th of May 2022 by all the organizations working among the Adivasi communities. On the 10th of May 2022, several Muslim women from Khargone district came out on the streets to resist police atrocity and islamophobia towards the Muslim community. They resisted the arrest of many community men falsely accused of fabricated cases of inciting violence. Thousands of women came out on the streets to safeguard themselves from the barbaric police administration. 

Today, the working class of the Adivasi, Dalit, Muslim and all other society people are battling with the skyrocketing inflation. The farmers of this nation are in debt and they are not getting the minimum support price for their agricultural produce nor the forest dweller communities are able to practice their livelihood in their ancestral lands in peace. The primary producers are becoming laborers, the laborers of the state are becoming bonded laborers in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka in search of work, there is no treatment available in hospitals and the education system is at peril. Common people in this region have long been deprived of education, employment and health facilities and now people are not safe even in their homes.

All progressive forces must collectively be united against such barbaric attack and injustice. We have to fight politically and socially to challenge the Hindutva agenda of terror perpetrated by organizations such as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh along with its associated organizations such as Bajrang Dal, Shri Ram Sena and Hindu Kesaria Sangathan. We all collectively demand justice from the state and union Governments where hate, inequality, injustice and hooliganism are on a rise. We extend our solidarity towards the Muslim community women’s movement asserting their constitutional rights at Khargone district for peace and justice.

All India Union of Forest Working People strongly condemn these horrific violent incidents and blames the BJP government at the Centre and States of being a perpetrator, instigator and predator of rising hate crimes in India in the name of Hindutva. But we are aware of the fact that in India the reign of violence and autocracy of oligarchs will not last forever. The reign of terror will fade and a sun will rise from the smog.

We shall fight, we shall win

Inquilab Zindabaad!

 In solidarity and endorsed by

*All India Union for Forest Working People (AIUFWP)*

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