VII. Abuses by Naxalites

Naxalites have been responsible for numerous abuses.316 In the course of what they claim to be a popular “people’s war,” their methods have included intimidation, threats, abductions, beatings, torture, and summary executions. Their victims include village leaders and other persons of high standing, and villagers who either refuse to cooperate with them or are suspected of being police informers. They also demand money, food, and shelter from villagers. Naxalites also recruit children into different Naxalite departments, including their armed wing, and therefore expose children to risks of fighting during anti-Naxalite combing operations by government security forces. 

A. Threats, extortions, and killings

The usual Naxalite method of establishing authority over an area is to initially target sarpanches (village officials), rich landowners, priests, and other influential village elders like patels (village headmen).Sarpanches are representatives of the state and thus considered a threat to the Naxalite leadership. Police superintendent G.P. Singh explained, “Naxalites have deliberately tried to eliminate leadership, particularly tribal leadership who can challenge Naxal authority.”317

According to one man, the son of a landowner, who now lives near Jagdalpur town,

In the area where we live, hardly any sarpanch survives his full term. They are chosen for five years, but rarely last beyond three. Naxalites kill them. They also kill other village council members. These officials are under constant pressure not to allow the building of roads and schools in their villages.318

Naxalites beat and kill villagers, particularly people they suspect of being police informers, and village leaders including sarpanches, patels, and priests. In some cases, these beatings and killings follow a jan adalat (people’s court). Naxalites organize such jan adalats to conduct public trials and punish offenders. For instance, wealthy landowners are brought before such a court and asked to hand over a portion of their assets for redistribution among the poorer villagers; those that dare to oppose the sentence or ruling are beaten. Suspected police informers or traitors may be sentenced to death.

The fairness of any justice system should be tested against international human rights law criteria that include independence, impartiality, and competency of judges, presumption of innocence, right to legal counsel and adequate time for preparation of defense, and the right to appeal.319 Jan adalats fail to meet any of these standards.

Subba Atish, a former Naxalite said he had participated in two jan adalats and seen four villagers being executed:

The jan adalat is organized by the commander or deputy commander of a dalam [armed squad]. They get about 15 villages together and pass a sentence. Members of the area committee, range committee head, and divisional committee will pass the sentence. They [accused] are usually supposed to be given a chance to defend themselves but generally this is how it works—first they are brought and beaten, and by the time the beating is over they are so scared that they will admit to the crime. Villagers and relatives who come to their defense are threatened and they don’t have much of a defense in these adalats. If a relative says something, the commander will say: “So you also are with him [accused]? You want the same thing to happen to you?” … [I]f they [leaders] have made up their mind in the matter they tend to ignore villagers’ opinion. They will say, “This is an enemy. If you want him punished, raise your hand.” Even if the people say “don’t kill,” if they [leaders] have decided to kill, they will. And if they decide not to kill, even if the public says, “Kill, Kill,” they will not kill.320

Another former Naxalite, Satyam David, agreed that it was difficult to win acquittal before a jan adalat. From his own experience he surmised that the only way that one could get acquitted in jan adalats is by garnering the support of some Naxalites. Before he became a jan militia (armed infomers) member and when he was in school, Naxalites had accused Satyam of being a police informer. He was abducted and taken before a jan adalat. He was acquitted, however, because his parents convinced some sangam (village-level Naxalite association) members to support him.321   

Subba Atish described how four people were executed by two jan adalats. Two of the four were found guilty of conspiring against Naxalite commanders, and two others were found guilty of informing the police about a Naxalite ambush. In all four cases the punishment was implemented immediately after the sentence was imposed, leaving no opportunity to appeal against the decisions. Atish described,

They held them [the four] guilty. They tie a rope around each person’s neck and two people stand on either side and pull the rope-ends till the person dies. All four were killed in the same manner.322

Naxalite policing is also often abusive. Veera Etishan described how Naxalites tried to resolve fights between family members and punished those who did not heed their advice:

Soma used to fight with everyone—with other villagers, mother, father, wife and so on. They [Naxalites] spoke to him and tried to make him understand. But he did not mend his ways even after the warning. So they tied his hands and legs, put him on the floor, and beat him. After that they rubbed small stones [gravel] all over his body till his skin peeled off.

Then I saw Aitu getting beaten. Aitu was the elder brother [of another villager] and he fought over his share of forest produce and beat his younger brother. They warned him and asked him to sort it out without beating his younger brother. But when he did not listen to their warnings, all the sangam members beat him.323

Naxalites imprisoned another villager for his alleged offenses. Veera Etishan described how Sukku was locked up in a school in Nendra for a month. “The villagers would release him and make him do work during the day, and then lock him up in the evenings,” he said.324

Naxalites also threaten families of those they suspect of being police informers. For instance, they repeatedly visited Vattam Fanu’s family after he ran away from his village to escape Naxalite recruitment. He said,

[B]ut the harassment did not stop [even after I ran away]. Naxalites came and told my parents that I was earning well in the town. They wanted my parents to hand over the money. They would not believe that I was too poor to send any money home. Then they started saying that I was working for the police.325

His parents told him that they were constantly under threat from Naxalites who continuously demanded money, or insisted that their son was a police informer. Vattam Fanu was forced to intervene to prevent this harassment:

Finally, I went back to the village to show them that I was not working for the police. This was in 2006. Then, as I was going to check on the irrigation canals on our farm, five uniformed people arrived … Then one of them spoke in Gondi and I realized they were Naxalites. They tied my hands together with a rope. When my father asked what they were going to do with me, they said, “We are going to get him married.” I said, “What marriage?” They all laughed. They said “Don’t you know what it is to be married?” I later realized they meant they were going to kill me.326

He escaped because some villagers came to his defense and Naxalites let him go. After this he left his village for the second time.327

After Vattam Fanu’s second flight, Naxalites raided his house at least twice and looted grains and jewelry. He said he then approached the police for assistance. The police began to use him as an informer and a guide. In January 2007 he was given a police job. When Naxalites found that he had joined the police they attacked his family:

They came to my house and said, “Your son has joined the police. Call him back. Hand him over to us.” My parents told the Naxalites that they had no contact with me. But they [Naxalites] were very angry. They dragged my brother out and beat him … My younger sister was also badly beaten. She is not even 18 years old.  Even my parents were not spared. They were beaten with rifle butts and sticks in front of the whole village. They cut my sister’s earlobes to take her earrings.  They only stopped beating her when she fainted. They said now that I had joined the police, they would come back to take my sister with them to fight. My sister and several other young people from the village have gone away to another city to escape being recruited by Naxalites.328

Similarly, Naxalites beat and harassed Himesh Karan’s family because he joined the police. He had worked with the police as an informer since 2002 and was accepted into the police force in 2006. He said,

On May 27, 2002, Naxalites first attacked my house. They took away our grain, cattle, clothes, and jewelry. I was absorbed into the police force in 2006. I take part in police patrols in our area where I know the terrain. Naxalites have been attacking my house and taking away all our harvest. They threatened my brothers and beat them. They told my younger brother that he should come to [name withheld] and kill me. “Go kill your brother or we will kill you,” they told him. “Your brother is bringing the police here to attack us. We want him dead.” My brother said he could not kill me. So they beat him.329

As recently as late January 2008, Naxalites held a meeting in Himesh Karan’s village and attacked his brothers again:

They beat up my brothers in front of the whole village. They said that my brothers had become informers and were giving me information about Naxalites.330

Naxalites also threaten villagers and enlist their support in different ways. Dhula Janak, for instance, said that he was forced to provide assistance to Naxalites:

In 2005 when I was at the wholesale market, Naxalites abducted me and some others. They took us into the jungle and said they would kill us unless we helped them. I started helping Naxalites, giving them money and purchasing wire, medicines, and other equipment for them. In 2006 I was picked up by the police. They brought me to the police station for questioning and said that I was helping Naxalites.331

The police, after questioning him, offered protection if he switched sides. He still fears for his life:

Life is very difficult in this region. If we don’t help Naxalites, they punish us. And if we do, the police punish us. I told the police that I did not want to help Naxalites, but they trouble us. The police chief asked if I would help the police instead. I agreed, and because of information that I could provide, two Naxalites were arrested.  But since then I have been scared. Naxalites will know that I was questioned and that must have led to the arrests. They will kill me.332

The most frequent complaint against Naxalites is their extortion of food and money. One villager complained that Naxalites demand food grains from them even when they do not have enough to feed their families:

The people from inside [who live in the jungles—Naxalites] used to visit my village two years ago, even before Salwa Judum started. They used to ask us for food grains and if we said we didn’t have, then they would threaten us with guns and force us to give grains. It didn’t matter whether we had food to eat for ourselves, but we had to give them.333

In another case, Pradeep Rao saw Naxalites extorting money from his sarpanch-uncle:

When I was in class eight [around 2002-2003], I went to my uncle’s house and stayed overnight at his house. At night, Naxalites came and beat my uncle and took everything from home. They demanded 50,000 rupees and said that they would kill him if he did not give them the money. My uncle gave them 50,000 rupees and that is why they did not kill my uncle. They threatened and warned me against telling anyone else. They also stripped me of all my clothes and went away.334

Naxalites collect fines from families that do not attend their meetings. Some villagers complained that they were forced to pay fines of 50 or 100 rupees (roughly UD$1-2) out of their meager income.335 Said one villager,

Everyone has to attend meetings. They take down names of those that don’t attend. Those people have to offer proper explanations. They are also fined 50 rupees which is a lot of money for a villager, but they pay because they are scared. Then they have to beg for forgiveness.336

B. Use of landmines and IEDs

Naxalites use landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to attack government security forces. Casualties from Naxalite use of landmines and IEDs increased after Salwa Judum began in June 2005. Human Rights Watch gathered information from news reports, NGOs, and government sources on approximately 30 landmine and IED explosions between June 2005 and December 2007.337 These explosions largely targeted government security forces, usually using remote trigger mechanisms. However, such explosions have also killed and injured civilians on numerous occasions.

International humanitarian law requires that parties to a conflict never target civilians, only military objectives.  Police are only considered valid military targets when the police force is incorporated into the armed forces338 or during the time they are taking a direct part in hostilities.339 International humanitarian law prohibits the use of weapons, including landmines and IEDs, in a manner whose effects cannot discriminate between military targets and civilians.340 When landmines are used, particular care must be taken to minimize the indiscriminate effects.341 Whether or not a particular Naxalite attack is lawful under international humanitarian law, it still may be prosecuted as a criminal offense under Indian law.

In February 2006 Vasanti Kumar’s sisters were returning from a Salwa Judum meeting when their truck was blown up. An NGO fact-finding team reported that the blast killed around 27 people and severely injured another 30, most of whom were believed to be civilians residing in Salwa Judum camps.342 Vasanti Kumar claimed that out of a “truck-load of people only 20 survived the blast.”343 She lost a friend in the blast while her two sisters were injured.

In October 2007, three people—a civilian and two special police officers (SPOs)—were being transported to a hospital when their tractor was blown up in a landmine. Another SPO who was part of police party that was following the tractor said,

We [SPOs] were returning from Polampalli to Dornapal and bringing three unwell people to Dornapal for treatment—two SPOs and a civilian, in the tractor. Naxalites blew up the tractor using a landmine. There were about 15 of us—following the tractor at a distance of about 100 meters. The tractor driver—another SPO— survived the blast, but the remaining three died. The SPOs names are Kiske Masa (from Kakarlanka, age 27) and Sodi Joga (from Nagalgunda, age 22-23). I don’t know the civilian’s name.344

In another incident, one villager described how he survived a landmine blast in 2007. He was in an ambulance escorting an injured girl, who herself had been injured in another landmine blast in Jagargonda, when the ambulance hit a mine believed to be placed by the Naxalites. He said,

The entire vehicle just went up in the air and landed some 20-30 meters forward. The frame of the vehicle got completely twisted and we were all shaken. But luckily we were alive and the vehicle was still working even in that condition so we kept going. After this, I have never dared to go to Jagargonda.345

C. Reprisals against Salwa Judumcamp residents

Naxalites regard Salwa Judum as a serious threat to their influence in the area. After the movement began in June 2005, Naxalites have abducted, tortured, and executed villagers whom they believed were Salwa Judum supporters or supporters’ family members. Satyam David had gone to Konta for work and was accused of attending a Salwa Judum meeting. “I was really scared,” he said. “I thought they [Naxalites] would kill me. Naxalites had already announced, ‘We will kill anyone who attends a Salwa Judum meeting. We will also kill their families.’”346 Satyam David, a Naxalite himself, ran away and joined the police.

Villagers who left voluntarily or were forced into Salwa Judum camps risk being assaulted or killed by Naxalites in retaliation if they attempt to return to their villages. Describing their predicament, one villager said, “[b]eing neutral is our biggest crime.”347 Villagers we interviewed gave us information about 49 people who were killed for allegedly supporting Salwa Judum.348  

One woman described the killing of her husband who had been forcibly brought into a camp by Salwa Judum members and government security forces. She said,

My husband went back to the village [from the camp] to bring grains for us to eat. When he went back, they [Naxalites] abducted him, killed him and left his body on the road … This happened in July last year [2006] … I have not gone back to my village even once. I don’t know why Naxalites killed my husband—he was not a sarpanch, he was not a patel, he was not an SPO, he was nothing.349

Another woman who was abducted and released by Naxalites in April 2006 recounted her experience:

We all— men and women together—went back [from the camp] in a big group to our village to bring back things. Naxalites abducted us from our village and took us to the jungle— blindfolded and with our hands tied. We walked for four days in the jungle. When we tried covering our eyes or bent down because we did not want to see them [Naxalites] beating the men, they [Naxalites] would grab us by the hair and make us watch it. When we told them we were hungry and wanted to eat something, they gave us dead frogs to eat. They also made us drink something that smelled like urine. I knew some of the Naxalites because they were villagers from Manikonta and Gaganpalli. They kept us for four days. After the first two days, the men and women were separated. After the four days, they brought us [women] and left us near the Boddiguda dam. We were about 15 women. We walked till Manikonta, and from Manikonta we got a truck and were coming back when on our way we saw around 15 bodies of the men who were with us. Some of them were lined up along the road and others were strewn on the side. When we were on the way to the camp, we saw the force [Central Reserve Police Force or CRPF] going [to collect the bodies]. My husband was among those killed.350

Emla Dhruvesh, another victim of Naxalite abduction stated that on July 8, 2006, Naxalites stopped the public bus that he was traveling in near Manikonta on the national highway. They blocked all traffic and forced travelers including him to attend a meeting nearby. “Naxalites were making speeches against Salwa Judum and telling everyone not to support them,” said Emla Dhruvesh.

After the meeting most of the travelers were allowed to leave. But Naxalites recognized him and kept him back. “Earlier they used to tell me to join them. They knew I was educated,” he said. He and three others were blindfolded. Their hands were tied behind their backs. They were then marched for what Emla Dhruvesh thinks must be at least two kilometers. “Finally we reached their camp and our blindfolds were removed. There were at least 40-50 Naxalites resting there. They had all kinds of weapons.” One of the commanders began to question him. They said that his brother was an SPO and beat him with rifles and sticks. He begged for mercy and explained that he did not follow politics and was studying in a college in Sukma. He even showed them identification documents from his college. Emla Dhruvesh recognized a local village council leader and another villager among those in Naxalite custody along with him. In the evening, all the prisoners were given food. The prisoners were then paired up, and their wrists tied together. A small group of Naxalites began to march them through the forest when he managed to escape. He described,

I was tied to a man called [name withheld]. I could see that we were being taken towards the road. I knew this meant that they were planning to kill us and leave our bodies on the road. I signaled to [name withheld] and we both started running. At some point, the rope broke and we separated. When we ran, the others began to run too. But Penta and Shankuri were killed.351

Emla Dhruvesh was beaten so badly that after his escape he was admitted to a hospital. On the day he ran away, Naxalites attacked the Errabore camp and his brother was killed in the attack.

Similarly, several villagers told Human Rights Watch that they knew camp residents who were killed by Naxalites:352 

In February 2006, 18 villagers—all men—from my village who had come back from [name withheld] camp to get some things from the village were abducted. Four of them were killed. I know two of them who were killed—Kando Rama and Madkam Irma [the former in his 30s, the latter in his 40s]. Naxalites came at around 2 p.m. and abducted them. They were held hostage for about eight to ten days before four of them were killed. The bodies were found on the Jagargonda road. The remaining men were released. I got scared, left my village, and came to the Salwa Judum camp immediately.353

Not only were camp residents abducted and killed, in 2006 Naxalites also attacked the Errabore camp itself. They killed at least 25 people, injured several others, and destroyed property.354 According to eyewitness accounts, the attack was well planned. Dasru Mangesh said he was on guard duty along with other villagers at the Errabore camp on July 17, 2006, when it was attacked by Naxalites. He had no weapons apart from his bow and arrows:

I suddenly heard gun shots and ran towards my house to see if everything was okay. I found that my home was burning. I saw some men coming towards me. They were carrying guns. I quickly climbed a tree and from where I was hiding I saw them catch my mother and beat her with sticks. My uncle was shot. Then I saw them kill my 15-year-old brother after first chopping off his arms.355

Five members of Dasru Mangesh’s family were killed that night—his father, brother, and three uncles. Dasru Mangesh maintained that his family was attacked by Naxalites: “I know who killed my family. There were local Naxalites in that group and I recognized some of them.”356

Naxalite retribution against SPOs has been particularly vicious. In March 2007, Naxalites attacked a police outpost in Rani Bodli (Bijapur district) and killed at least 55 policemen and SPOs. A victim’s sister said that when they recovered her brother’s body there were signs of genital mutilation and the eyeballs had been deliberately pierced.357

In December 2007 some camp residents told Human Rights Watch that they had seen pamphlets inviting villagers to go back.358 The Dantewada police superintendent also claimed, “Naxalites are now abducting villagers, counseling them to return to their villages, and sending them back.”359

Not surprisingly, many camp residents said that they do not want to immediately return to their villages for fear of Naxalite reprisal.

D. Reprisals against Naxalite deserters

Naxalites have been merciless when it comes to punishing members who desert them. Four former Naxalites interviewed by Human Rights Watch said that after they deserted Naxalites retaliated by killing members of their family, including children.360 Tarrem Kosa, a former child dalam member, said, “What I thought was there’s no point in asking them [when I could leave]. The only point is to die with them.”361 When he eventually deserted and sought police protection, Naxalites punished his family:

One year after I ran away, both my younger brothers (ages 8 and 12) were killed. They beat my mother and broke her arm. They burned our house and took all the things that were inside.362

When Vikas Modhey, another former child dalam member deserted, his brother met the same fate:

They killed my younger bother when I surrendered. He was 10 or 12 years old. They slit his throat. We had no parents.363

When Subba Atish deserted, not only did Naxalites kill his family members but they also killed members of their own jan militia who they thought were behind his escape. Subba’s brother was brought before a jan adalat in January 2007 and executed. He was first beaten and then axed to death. Within weeks, seven others including two relatives—his sister’s husband and a cousin’s husband— had been killed in retribution. All the eight were jan militia members.364 Said Subba Atish, “I thought they would kill me because I left [my dalam]. I never imagined that all these people [friends and relatives] would be killed because of me.”365

E. CPI (Maoist) Party statements

Human Rights Watch was unable to directly correspond or speak with official Naxalite representatives. However, we were able to gather some Naxalite responses through press statements of the CPI (Maoist) party (a prominent Naxalite political party), and have reviewed their letter to the Independent Citizen’s Initiative, a fact-finding team from India that investigated the conflict between Naxalites, Salwa Judum, and government security forces in Chhattisgarh. The letter responds to an appeal made by the fact-finding team to the CPI (Maoist) party and attempts to justify many Naxalite practices.366

Soon after the Naxalite attack on Errabore camp in 2006, the general secretary of the CPI (Maoist) party, Ganapathi, issued a press statement where he sought to justify the attack as part of “retaliatory actions and defence war” against Salwa Judum members and government security forces, and denied extensive civilian casualties:

[T]hough there were two or three civilians among the dead for which we express our heartfelt regrets, our attack was targeted entirely against Salwa Judum activists and the special police forces who have been running amok burning entire villages considered to be the strongholds of the Maoists, destroying houses and property of the activists of sangams, murdering the adivasis [tribal communities] who are active in the revolutionary movement, raping women, forcing entire villages to be evacuated and organizing forced surrenders of the sangam members … We warn once again that our retaliatory actions and defense war will further intensify if the police, paramilitary and Salwa Judum goondas [thugs] do not stop their mass terror. It is the [Indian] central and state governments that are entirely responsible for the bloody consequences.367

Naxalites tried to justify their killing of civilians in Manikonta in April 2006 as the execution of a verdict passed by people in the Manikonta jan adalat (people’s court) following a trial that afforded due process to the accused, and denied that innocent persons were killed:

Regarding the jan adalat in Manikonta village, the first point we would like to place before you is that those who were punished were not villagers as you describe them but were paid SPOs and SJ [Salwa Judum] goons who had committed terrible atrocities on the people in the name of Salwa Judum. A retribution of that order is a necessity to control these goons. Common people, generally speaking, do not go to the extent of killing those who had committed crimes. The fact that hundreds of people who were present in the jan adalat resorted to this extreme measure shows the pent-up anger and righteous indignation of the people intimidated since June 2005 without a let up…. The very fact that out of the 57 people taken away by the jan militia led by our PLGA from the concentration camp and 44 of them were let off after due investigation of their deeds speaks of the fairness of the jan adalats unlike the so-called courts of law that let off the real culprits and throw the innocents for long years into jails.368

They further sought to justify their killings of policemen as a measure of last resort:

We are as much grieved as you when policemen are killed in our ambushes and raids. We made several appeals to the policemen and their families not to kill innocent people or launch attacks on our cadre. We had issued leaflets appealing the Naga battalion jawans, CRPF jawans to defy orders from their superiors and to desist from attacks. We have composed a number of songs describing the plight of poor and unemployed youth who are forced to join police force due to lack of alternative employment. Whenever we attack the police we try to minimise bloodshed. We had never killed any policeman who surrendered … We stand for the defence of the people’s rights and it is for this reason we are compelled to attack those who are snatching away people’s right to live.369

None of these statements provide a lawfully acceptable justification for unfair trials and summary executions—they are instances of abuse for which those responsible should be held to account.

Notably, the CPI (Maoist) statement does not deny Naxalite use of landmines, though it claims landmine use is limited and attempts to shift the blame for its use of such an indiscriminate weapon onto the Salwa Judum campaign: 

It is a baseless allegation that we had laid mines all over. People, to defend their very existence, are compelled to plant mines here and there in order to check the influx of hundreds of state forces and SJ [Salwa Judum] goons who are creating a reign of terror in the villages. Neither is this indiscriminate or on an extensive scale.370

316 In the event that the conflict in Chhattisgarh amounts to a non-international armed conflict under international humanitarian law (the laws of war), all parties to the conflict are bound by article 3 common to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and customary international humanitarian law.

317 Human Rights Watch interview with G. P. Singh, superintendent of police of Bastar district, Jagdalpur, January 26, 2008.

318 Human Rights Watch interview with villager from Bastar district (name and details withheld).

319 See, for example ICCPR, arts. 6 and 14; see also common article 3 to the 1949 Geneva Conventions (a party to a conflict is prohibited at all times from “the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples”).

320 Human Rights Watch interview with Subba Atish (pseudonym), former Naxalite, other details withheld.

321 Human Rights Watch interview with Satyam David (pseudonym), former Naxalite, other details withheld.

322 Human Rights Watch interview with Subba Atish (pseudonym).

323 Human Rights Watch interview with Veera Etishan (pseudonym), former Naxalite, other details withheld.

324 Ibid.

325 Human Rights Watch interview with Vattam Fanu (pseudonym), SPO, other details withheld.

326 Ibid.

327 Ibid.

328 Ibid.

329 Human Rights Watch interview with Himesh Karan (pseudonym), location withheld, January 27, 2008.

330 Ibid.

331 Human Rights Watch interview with Dhula Janak (pseudonym), location and other details withheld. 

332 Ibid.

333 Human Rights Watch interview with Prateek (pseudonym), IDP from Sankanpalli, village W4, Warangal district, November 30, 2007.

334 Human Rights Watch interviews with Pradeep Rao (pseudonym), IDP from Chinch Dongri, other details withheld.

335 Human Rights Watch group interview with Oyam Suresh and Kadti Soman (pseudonyms), camp residents, other details withheld.

336 Human Rights Watch interview with villager (who chose to remain anonymous), other details withheld.

337 Chhattisgarh police, “List of Naxalite attacks in 2006-07,” (unpublished); Landmine Survivors Network, “World Landmine News,” May 19, 2005, (accessed March 29, 2008); December 22, 2006, (accessed March 29, 2008); January 16, 2007, (accessed March 29, 2008); “Two injured in Chhattisgarh blast,” India eNews, May 15, 2007, (accessed March 29, 2008); “CRPF jawan killed, three injured in IED blast,” Sahara Samay, May 18, 2007, (accessed March 29, 2008); Naxalite Watch, “Naxalite blast kills 3 in Bastar,” post to “Naxalite Terror Watch” (blog), June 6, 2007, (accessed March 29, 2008); Naxal Terror Watch, “Two policemen injured in a blast in Chhattisgarh,” post to “Naxalite Terror Watch” (blog), June 17, 2007, (accessed March 29, 2008); “Maoist landmine blast kills 10 policemen in Chhattisgarh,” November 2, 2007, (accessed March 29, 2008).

338 See International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Henckaerts & Doswald-Beck, eds.,Customary International Humanitarian Law, Volume I  (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005), rule 4.  India is one of only several states not party to the 1997 Ottawa Convention prohibiting the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of anti-personnel landmines (Mine Ban Treaty).

339 Ibid, rule 6.

340 Ibid, rule 12.

341 Ibid, rule 81.

342 Independent Citizen’s Initiative, “War in the Heart of India, An Enquiry into the Ground Situation in Dantewada District, Chhattisgarh,” 2006, (accessed July 16, 2007), p. 12.

343 Human Rights Watch interview with Vasanti Kumar (pseudonym), IDP from Pandiguda, location withheld, December 6, 2007.

344 Human Rights Watch interview with Satti Krishna (pseudonym), SPO, other details withheld. See above, section III, Background, for more information regarding SPOs.

345 Human Rights Watch interview with villager from Dornapal (name and location withheld), date withheld.

346 Human Rights Watch interview with Satyam David (pseudonym), former Naxalite, other details withheld.

347 Human Rights Watch interview with Modiyam Lokesh (pseudonym), camp resident, Dornapal camp, date withheld.

348 Human Rights Watch interviews with Apka Karthik (pseudonym), camp resident, Konta camp, December 9, 2007;  Kishore Nanda (pseudonym), student, location withheld, January 26, 2008; Mangesh (pseudonym), student, location withheld, January 27, 2008; Umang Deep (pseudonym), camp resident of Dornapal camp, location confidential. January 28, 2008; Kaskul Naiyya (pseudonym), IDP from Nayapara, village K3, Khammam district, December 2, 2007; woman who was abducted (who chose to remain anonymous), other details withheld; Emla Dhruvesh (pseudonym), camp resident, other details withheld; Dasru Mangesh (pseudonym), SPO, other details withheld.

349 Human Rights Watch interview with Kadtam Urmila (pseudonym), camp resident, Dornapal camp, December 12, 2007.

350 Human Rights Watch interview with villager (who chose to remain anonymous), camp resident, Dornapal, December 12, 2007.

351 Human Rights Watch Interview with Emla Dhruvesh (pseudonym), camp resident, Errabore, date withheld.

352 Human Rights Watch interviews with Kaskul Naiyya (pseudonym), IDP from Nayapara, village K3, Khammam district, December 2, 2007; villager from Gorgonda, location withheld, December 12, 2007; villager from Pottenar (who chose to remain anonymous), location withheld, December 14, 2007.

353 Human Rights Watch interview with Umang Deep (pseudonym), Dornapal camp resident, other details withheld.

354 “Major Naxalite attack in Chhattisgarh, 25 killed,”, July 17, 2006; Subodh Ghildiyal, “Naxalites massacre 26 tribals in Dantewada,”The Times of India, July 18, 2006, (accessed September 12, 2007). “27 ‘Salva Judum’ activists killed,” The Hindu, July 18, 2006, (accessed September 12, 2007).

355 Human Rights Watch interview with Dasru Mangesh (pseudonym), SPO, other details withheld.

356 Ibid.

357 Human Rights Watch interview with villager (name and details withheld).

358 Human Rights Watch group interview with camp residents (who chose to remain anonymous), Jangla camp, December 14, 2007.

359 Human Rights Watch interview with Rahul Sharma, superintendent of police of Dantewada district, Dantewada, December 10, 2007 (first interview).

360 Human Rights Watch interviews with Tarrem Kosa, Vikas Modhey, Sushovan Banu, and Subba Atish (pseudonyms), former Naxalites, other details withheld.

361 Human Rights Watch interview with Tarrem Kosa (pseudonym).

362 Ibid. 

363 Human Rights Watch interview with Vikas Modhey (pseudonym).

364 Human Rights Watch interview with Subba Atish (pseudonym). 

365 Ibid.

366 Independent Citizen’s Initiative, “War in the Heart of India,” pp. 48-49.

367 Press statement issued by CPI (Maoist) General Secretary Ganapathi, circulated on CGNet yahoo group on May 4, 2007.

368 Letter from Ganapathi, secretary general, CPI (Maoist), to the Independent Citizen’s Initiative, October 10, 2006, (accessed February 20, 2008), para. 3.

369 Ibid, para. 2.

370 Ibid, para. 4.