IDPs in Chhattisgarh: Unable to Return and Living in Deplorable Conditions

What is affected
Housing Social/public
Housing private
Land Social/public
Land Private
Electricity, Sewage
Type of violation Forced eviction
Date 01 January 2006
Region A [ Asia ]
Country India
Location Chhattisgarh

Affected persons

Total 45000
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution Stop eviction. Authorities provide reparation for those dispossessed, injured and killed.
Details Cambodia land theft.doc
COHRE CERD rpt on roma in italy.pdf
Forced eviction

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

Naxalites, Security Forces
Brief narrative Source: Asian Centre for Human Rights, India Human Rights Report 2007

Chhattisgarh was the epicentre of the Naxalite conflict in India during 2006. The conflict internally displaced over 45,000 persons and the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were living in deplorable conditions.

Thousands have fled their villages and abandoned their paddy fields fearing retaliation either by the Naxalites for opposing them or by the Salwa Judum activists, consisting of Adivasi villagers and the security forces, for supporting Naxalites. The Bastar region comprising three districts of Kanker, Bastar and Dantewada are affected by Salwa Judum campaign. Dantewada having 1,354 villages in 11 Development Blocks is the largest district in the Bastar region and is the worst affected district.

A team of ACHR undertook a visit to study the conditions of the IDP camps in Dantewada from 4 to 6 March 2006. The team found the following.

As on 4 March 2006, there were a total of 45,958 Adivasi villagers from 644 villages in 6 blocks of Dantewada district who had been living in relief camps. The villages where IDP camps were established were Bhairamgarh, Geedom, Bodli, Bangapal, Matwara, Jangla, Naimed, Kutru, Pharsegarh, Talnar, Gangalur, Nelsanar, Pinkonda, Kodoli, Karkeni, Bedare, Etamkudum, Cherpal, Bijapur, Murdandha, Aachapalli, Gangakud, Usur, Pharaspal, Konta, Arrabore, Dornapal, and Dantewada.

ACHR team visited Bangapal IDP camp, Geedam IDP camp, Konta IDP camp and Errabore IDP camp and found the camp conditions deplorable. These camps had been turned into detention centres of the surrendered Naxalites as well as counter-insurgency training centres. The Government of Chhattisgarh claimed that there were about 1999 surrendered Naxalites who had been rehabilitated in the camps. But ACHR team found many of them being kept in chains. They had no freedom of movement.

The State Government officials claimed that they were providing free housing, free fooding, clothes, medical facilities, children`s education, Anganwadi centres for preprimary education, adult education, business education and employment. It was as if the IDP camps had been turned into heaven for the impoverished Adivasis.

The ACHR representatives however found the camp conditions to be deplorable and sub-human. The displaced persons were living in makeshift camps, some of which were covered just with leaves of trees as roofs, and open from all sides. The camp inmates alleged that during the rainy season, the socalled roofs could not prevent the water from pouring inside. Many were not provided tarpaulin-roofing. Only those who came to the relief camps earlier were lucky enough to get tarpaulin roofing.

The IDPs remained extremely insecure with no access to their villages and means of survival.

Prolong stay in the camps without any solution in sight had been taking toll on the mental health of the internally displaced persons.

Hundreds of Adivasis, including women and children from Dantewada district also fled to Malkangiri district of Orissa.
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