ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
-A A +A

Savagery of the Civilised

“Encounter” killings and rapes have become an organic part of everyday life in the tribal state of Chhattisgarh in recent years. The fact-finding reports of human rights organisations bear testimony to it. The latest addition to this saga of state violence is the rape and killing of a 16-year-old girl, Madkam Hidme, in the Gompad village of Sukma district. The parents of the girl reported to the media that their daughter had been married eight days before she was killed.

“Encounter” killings and rapes have become an organic part of everyday life in the tribal state of Chhattisgarh in recent years. The fact-finding reports of human rights organisations bear testimony to it. The latest addition to this saga of state violence is the rape and killing of a 16-year-old girl, Madkam Hidme, in the Gompad village of Sukma district. The parents of the girl reported to the media that their daughter had been married eight days before she was killed. The Aam Aadmi Party tribal leader, Soni Sori, alleged that Hidme was picked up from her home, raped and killed before being branded as a Maoist.

The press release of a fact-finding team of the Civil Liberties Committee, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights tells us a story of horror and shame. Let us summarise the story: On 13 June 2016, around 200 paramilitary men along with “Koya Commandos” entered the Gompad village and started beating the people indiscriminately. They entered Hidme’s house, dragged her out and trampled on her in front of the villagers. Later, they took her to the nearby forest, where a paramilitary camp is located, by threatening the villagers at gunpoint. What happened to the girl thereafter? According to the investigating team, the parents and villagers told them that she was brutally raped before being killed in the fake encounter. In order to cover up the brutal sexual assault her clothes were burnt. An olive green uniform was put on her body and a gun in her hand.

The above episode, to speak in the language of Arundhati Roy, makes the civilisation/savagery binary blurred in our imagination.

Arup Kumar Sen
KOLKATA

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top