Protests against CRPF camps continue in India’s Chhattisgarh state

New Delhi, March 07 (KMS): The ongoing protests against the Indian paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) camps have grown stronger with the passage of time since the demands of the protesters are not yet fulfilled in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh.

The new establishment of CRPF camps in Silger, Sukma, has the objective of reducing Maoist activities in the deeper terrains of Sukma. However, the protesters do not object to the establishment of schools or hospitals, but the setting up of camps on their “private cultivated land” is unacceptable. However, sources claim that these cultivated lands belong to the government.

This year, on 20 January, some protesters were traveling to Raipur to meet the Governor in order to settle the problem of establishment of CRPF camps. However, when the police received the information, they stopped the bus in Kondagaon and ordered the protesters to get off the bus.

The new CRPF camps in Silger, South Chhattisgarh, are constructed with the latest security installations that cover 10,000 km. The protests intensified on 17 May last year, when the officials openly fired on the protesters, killing four people. The camp, which is located on the Basaguda-Jagarguna route, was erected on 12 May. It has been claimed that on 17 May, people hurled stones at security personnel at the camp, prompting police to open fire on them. As a result, three guys have been identified as Maoists and have been slain. All these circumstances led to the blocking of the camp by felled trees, and the protest venue shifted to 2 km away from the campsite toward Tarrem, another significant Maoist inflicted region.

A protester told the media, “Until the families of the victims receive justice and compensation, we won’t stop our protests. We were not consulted before the camps were established on our lands. We are fighting for our rights to our lands and freedom.” Many villagers have claimed that Kisan protest inspired them to continue their prolonged protest.

The intensification of the ongoing protests has also helped the Maoists as they can carry on their activities in the deeper regions of the affected areas. Meanwhile, other protesters told the media, “Those who were killed were not Naxals, but protesters, so we are demanding compensation for their families.”

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