'Govt created war-like situation'

Operation Green Hunt: Roy sees red

'Govt created  war-like situation'

Human Rights activist Gautam Navalakha and eminent writer and social activist Arundhati Roy jointly address a press conference on operation Green Hunt in Kolkata on Wednesday. PTI

The poor and deprived tribals were being uprooted from their land as the government “is busy implementing the agreements reached with 100 multinational companies,” alleged the acclaimed writer.

“The tribals are losing their rights on land ... I strongly feel that the government has created an war-like atmosphere in name of curbing Maoist activities,” she said.

Expressing herself in favour of a congenial environment to sort out the problems through discussions, Roy said “things can be sorted out only through negotiations.”

“The malady lies in under-development, long deprivation which have led to the present situation”, she said and alleged the government had been trying to cover up its lapses.
A dangerous situation had developed at Dantewada due to the creation of ‘Salwa Judum’, which she termed the ‘mass militia’ by the government and said it was in fact pushing the people towards Maoists.

To persistent queries about her stand on killings by Maoists, the writer said “I am not in favour of killing or counter-killing. I am a representative of poor people but am against violence.” Asked if she would visit Naxal-hit Lalgarh in West Midnapore, she said “I can’t say if I will visit Lalgarh.”

Journalist Gautamn Lavalakha, theatre personality Bibhas Chakraborty and human rights activist Sujato Bhadra were present.

Earlier, in an interview with a private news channel, the Booker Prize-winning writer said: “The tribals are losing their rights on land and I strongly feel that the government has created an war-like atmosphere in name of curbing Maoist activities,” she said.

Expressing herself in favour of a congenial environment to sort out the problems through discussions, Roy said “things can be sorted out only through negotiations.”

“The malady lies in under-development, long deprivation which have led to the present situation,” she said and alleged the government had been trying to cover up its lapses. A dangerous situation had developed at Dantewada due to the creation of ‘Salwa Judum’, which she termed the ‘mass militia’ by the government and said it was in fact pushing the people towards Maoists. To persistent queries about her stand on killings by Maoists, the writer said “I am not in favour of killing or counter-killing. I am a representative of poor people but am against violence.”

According to her, the violence inside the forest is nothing but a ‘counter violence or a violence of resistance. “I do feel terrible about the fact that there is this increasing cycle of violence that the more weapons the government arms the police with, those weapons end up with the Maoist PLGA. It’s a terrible thing to do to any society,” she said

Asked whether she believes that the brand of democracy prevailing in India is fake, Roy said it’s indeed a fake democracy because it doesn’t work for the mass of the people. To a query on why she declined the Maoist offer to mediate, she said she did not have the
necessary skill to do so.

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