HRF Clarification To Arundhati Roy

In Arundhati Roy’s essay ‘Walking with the comrades’, CPI-Maoist Dandakaranya spokesperson Gudsa Usendi tells her that K Balagopal “who is usually meticulous about facts” had said that the Naxalites had massacred Adivasis at Kotrapal and that “later in his book (Usendi is presumably referring to the report brought out by the Human Rights Forum titled: Death, displacement and deprivation, the War in Dantewara: A report), Balagopal acknowledged his mistake…”

This is to clarify. Balagopal or the Human Rights Forum (HRF), the organisation that he belonged to, has never issued a press statement to the effect that the Naxalites had resorted to the massacre at Kotrapal nor has Balagopal ‘acknowledged his mistake’.

When reports appeared in the Press in June 2005 of the killing of a large number of Adivasis at Kotrapal by the Maoists, the HRF wrote a letter to various civil and democratic rights organisations in the country calling for a fact-finding in the area to ascertain the facts. Subsequently, a fact-finding team of HRF and Organisation for Protection of Democratic Rights (OPDR) visited the area on 16-17 July, 2005. A joint press release was put out at a media conference in Hyderabad on August 3, 2005 in which it was stated, among other things, that “the news of the massacre of 19th June in Kotrapal in which 13 Adivasis are said to have been killed by the Maoists is not true.”  Both the letter and the press note can be accessed from the “War in Dantewara” report available on the HRF website (

Gudsa Usendi, in this case, is shoddy about the facts.

VS Krishna
HRF State general secretary


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