Thousands march marking riot anniversary in Odisha: Kandhamal Remembered;

“You do not punish the guilty and you punish the innocents with fabricated cases. These innocents are not even given bail, while bails are easily given to those who are responsible for communal violence in any part of this country,”–Brinda Karat.

The demonstrators in Kandhamal district shouted slogans demanding an end to atrocities on religious minorities and justice for the victims of the anti-Christian riots.

Bhubaneswar: Some 5,000 people, mostly tribal and dailt Christians marched through the streets of Raikia town yesterday, marking the anniversary of the anti-Christian riot that killed some 100 people and displaced 50,000 seven years ago in Odisha.

The demonstrators in Kandhamal district shouted slogans demanding an end to atrocities on religious minorities and justice for the victims of the anti-Christian riots.

Kandhamal Nyaya Shanti Sadbhabana Samaj (KNSSS), the organization of victims and survivors of the riots organized the rally to commemorate the anniversary.

The fanatic Hindu violence against Christians began in the state August 25, two days after Hindu leader Swami Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati was murdered. Maoists later claimed responsibility for the murder, but Hindus accused Christians of engineering the murder.

“Diverse religions and castes used to live in peace. But suddenly a lot people were killed, displaced, houses and churches were destroyed, women were raped and molested. Even now many people who were displaced cannot come back,” parliamentarian and former federal minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said while addressing the gathering.

“Should we forget what happened? Forgetting can be a crime. Justice has to be achieved,” Aiyar said.

Communist party leader Brinda Karat noted that although the Maoists had taken the responsibility of the murder of Swami Laxmananda, “seven innocent Adivasis and Dalits (tribal and socially poor Christians) are in prison today for the same crime. “

“You do not punish the guilty and you punish the innocents with fabricated cases. These innocents are not even given bail, while bails are easily given to those who are responsible for communal violence in any part of this country,” she said.

Advocate Father Debunker Parikh, who coordinates the legal matters of the Kandhamal communal violence wanted the government to identify and prosecute those who are threatening the witnesses and members of the Christian community.

According to a survey, properties worth 900 million rupees (some US$14 million) were damaged in the communal violence and compensation given so far is only 7 million. He said that a case has been filed in the Supreme Court of India, seeking the court’s intervention in dispensing adequate compensation to the victims.

Jacob Pradhan, a member of state Legislative Assembly, noted that compensation awarded to riot survivros is “very meagre” compared to several other cases of riot compensations in the country “but even the meagre compensation is not properly distributed yet.”

Father Ajaya Kumar Singh, a rights activist who works for the victims, told ucanews.com people are still living in fear of violence. “Peace is not the absence of violence, but living a life free from fear and insecurity. That has not happened in Kandhamal even after seven years of riots.”

END

Source: UCAN

1 Comment

  1. September 3, 2015 at 7:52 am

    We Christians MUST remember that we are a minority in this saffron
    ruled regime / junta of fanatics — who have finally got their day
    to vent their long bottled up spleen — till the present regime RULES
    we just have to suffer in silence — or if you have the money migrate
    to a ” Christian ” country — all INDIAN laws for protection of the minorities
    are presently ONLY on paper !!!!

    Like


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