“Many instances of exploitation of tribals by the Naxalites/Maoists have come to the notice of the government. Such atrocities primarily include sexual exploitation of tribal women cadres in the Maoist camps which have been disclosed in statements of several surrendered women CPI (Maoist) cadres of Odisha, Maharashtra, Bihar, Jharkhand and other states,” Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju said in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
“This has been widely reported in the media also from time to time. Such instances of sexual exploitation include rape, forced marriage and molestation by senior male CPI(Maoist) cadres,” he added.
Rijiju said that the government has information that some female cadres had to undergo abortions too.
“In Chhattisgarh, some surrendered tribal CPI(Maoist) male cadres have disclosed that they were forced by the senior leadership to undergo vasectomy operations as a pre-condition for marriage with women cadres. There are allegations that women cadres of CPI(Maoist), who become pregnant, are forced to undergo abortion against their will,” the Minister said.
The surrendered women cadres have also disclosed that even if they are married to male cadres, they are not allowed to have children since the senior leadership of the CPI (Maoist) feel that it impairs their fighting capability and mobility.
“Further, forced recruitment of children from families of poor and marginalised segments of the society, including the tribals, by the Maoists has also come to notice. In order to instill a sense of fear in their areas of dominance, the Naxals also kill civilians after branding them as police informers,” Rijiju said.
Out of 4,955 civilians have been killed by the Maoists since 2004 till July 15, 2014, the Minister said, the “overwhelming majority are tribals.”
“The Maoists have in reality killed thousands of innocent Adivasis, whose cause they profess to espouse. This tragic reality is glossed over by the Maoist front organisations and their apologists in towns and cities who have launched a propaganda war against the Indian state and project Maoists as the champions of Advisasis,” he said.
The Minister said the Naxals have recruited “minors” from the tribal belts of LWE affected areas in Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Odisha.
“In Bihar and Jharkhand, these children are enrolled in ‘Bal Dasta’ and in Chhattisgarh and Odisha the children’s squad is known as ‘Bal Sangham’. The idea behind recruiting tribal children is to wean them away from their rich traditional cultural moorings and indoctrinate them into Maoists ideology.”
He said that it has been reported that children recruited in ‘dalams’ are not permitted to leave. “They face severe reprisals including killing of family members if they surrender to security forces.”
Rijiju said a number of central and state government schemes were being run in these areas to “bring stability in the lives of children” and to ensure that all their entitlements to protection, health, nutrition, sanitation, education and safety were fulfilled through government action.