Strongly Condemn This Brutal Killing of Adivasis
CPI(M) Polit Bureau has issued the following statement on July 20
THE Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the brutal killing of ten adivasi landless farmers, including three women by criminal land grabbing mafia in Umbha village, Sonbhadra district, backed by the Uttar Pradesh government and administration. The adivasis have been tilling the land for the last seven decades but no government gave them the land pattas which was their right. After the Adityanath government took office, the adivasis have been threatened by the local land mafia to stop tilling the land. Even though the adivasis had complained to the authorities, the government and administration refused to act. The Adityanath government is trying to put the responsibility on others but it is during the rule of his government that the land mafia led by the pradhan claimed to have “bought” the land and unleashed terror on the adivasis. It is highly condemnable that the government has not given a single rupee to help the injured and on the contrary some were forcibly discharged from the hospital.
A CPI(M) delegation visited the village yesterday, the first to do so, to meet the victim families breaking the condemnable restrictions imposed by the UP government on entry into the village. A six member delegation was led by Hiralal Yadav, Central Committee member of the CPI(M) and state Secretary and included other leaders – Dinanath Yadav, Anup Pratap Singh, Baccha Lal, Arvind Vakil, Anil Kumar Singh. The details the families related are horrifying. Truckloads of armed men led by Yagya Dutt opened fire even as the adivasis were tilling the land, a mass butchery. The families gave details of the number of times they had pleaded with the administration to give the pattas in their name. Earlier, the land had been captured in 1955 by powerful landlords led by one Sinha and a trust was formed in the name of Adarsh trust. Since then the adivasis families have been paying an annual rent per bigha which in the last payment was Rs 500 rupees per bigha on the assurance that the land was not going to be sold. It is in 2017 that the land was apparently sold to Yagya Dutt with the help of the administration. This is during the regime of the BJP government.
Clearly the current regime is responsible for protecting the land mafia and denying land pattas to the adivasis. The delegation also visited those injured and admitted in two hospitals.
The CPI(M) demands that the land pattas be immediately given to the adivasi families who have been tilling the land for over seven decades. It demands strong action against the administration officials and the police who connived with the criminals and immediate arrest and stringent punishment of all those involved in the brutal massacre. It demands immediate compensation to the families of those killed and to the injured. Government has to ensure free rations to the families who are deprived of their livelihood.
Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch (AARM) strongly condemns the killing of adivasis in Sonbhadra district of UP and holds the UP government responsible for this barbaric act.
This is the result of the government not granting land and cultivation rights to these adivasis, in spite of their repeated pleas to do so, and knowing fully well that these adivasis have been tilling the land in question for many years.
AARM calls upon its affiliated state units and other organisations working for the establishment of adivasi rights, to organise protest programmes in their respective states, at the earliest.
The All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU) condemns the brutal killing of ten adivasi landless farmers, three of them women, by a criminal crowd of a land grabbing mafia of Umbha village in Sonbhadra district of UP on 17 July. Not only was the UP government involved in ensuring that the farmers who had been farming the land for over 70 years would not be given pattas in accordance with the Forest Rights Act, but they appear to had given the go ahead to the village pradhan, Yagya Datt, to support a fraudulent claim to land that did not belong to him with physical force as is evident from the actions of various lynch groups and people quietly taking the law into their hands with powerful support from the police and administration under the present government. Even today 25 injured people are in hospital.
The All India Agricultural Workers Union has been active in this area for over two decades ensuring that the adivasis are not evicted from their lands. Ghorawal has been a constant arena of struggle against forcible eviction of adivasis, dalits and the rural poor. Even today the district secretary of the union, Shanti Prakash, is in jail for a year without being given bail. Earlier, Com Ram Adhar Singh, district secretary, of CPI(M) was murdered for his role in defending the poor farmers and preventing their eviction.
What is shocking is how the BJP government of UP prevented Priyanka Gandhi from going to the spot of the crime by holding her back at Narayan Pur. A similar team of the TMC led by Derek O’Brian, MP has been detained at Varanasi airport.
The CPI(M) delegation led by Hiralal Yadav successfully evaded police blockades, and was the first to reach the village and meet the bereaved families. We demand that the land the adivasis were farming on an annual rent of Rs. 500 per bigha be registered in their names by the gram Sabha, Rs 25 lakhs be given to each family to survive the loss of their breadwinners, everyone in the crowd who took part in these murders be arrested and the village pradhan be given exemplary punishment. Full treatment costs and Rs 10 lakhs each be given to the families of the injured at once and their medical expenses be paid for. Free rations should be provided to all the adivasi families of the village until peace is restored.
The All India Agricultural Workers Union calls on all its units to immediately observe a day of struggle to mourn the deaths of innocents, expose the breakdown of law and order at the hands of mafias supported by the BJP regime with full police and administrative support, and demand the sternest punishment for the criminals involved in this massacre.