Co-Written by Alok Singh & Jugal Ranjit
Kandhamal Nyaya Shanti O Sadvabana Samaj , an organisation of Survivors of Kandhamal violence observed 8th Kandhamal Day at Balliguda on 27th August with participation of about 15000 people. On this occasion a peace rally marched from mini-stadium Balliguda to Sub-Collector office and gathered in PWD square to observe the Day. Viswa Hindu Parishat attempted to stop the march at some places. Yet, it did not deter people to hold the march peacefully.
There were many esteemed guests such as Chief speaker Prafulasamanta Rai, Hon. MLA Jacob Pradhan, Hon-MLA George Tirky, Puspa Panda All India Democratic Women’s Federation, Bhajamahan Behera Former Minister, Ramakrishna Panda CPI state committees, and some local leaders namely Paul Pradhan.
Introducing the program, Mr Jugal Kishore Ranjit stated that Constitutional system is completely failed in Kandhamal as many tribal and Dalits are killed indiscriminately in the name of Maoism and religion. District administration should be held accountable for failure of administration and every uncounted death of common men.
Sri Jacob Pradhan, honourable MLA stated that the celebration of Independence day becomes a farce as people are not enjoying the rights and freedom of life since people are killed in the name of caste and religion. It is very shameful that the government is not publishing Naidu Commission report on Kandhamal violence though the report was submitted 8 months ago. It proves the lack of seriousness of the state government about Kandhamal Victims. Justice Papana reported Adivasis are not Hindus; they have their own religion and faith. The Adivasi of Kandhamal used to worship nature. But in due course of time they have been converted to Christianity and Hinduism.
Praful Samantray, chief speaker said that instead of terming the program as Sradhanjali Sabha, we should better name it as “Sambidhan Surakhya Sabha”. We must defeat the idea of communal forces who divide communities on caste and religious line. We rightly reject those who killed Laxmananand but we also strongly condemn killing of common people in the aftermath of the killing of Laxmanand. Those act against SCs, STs and Minorities go against democracy and constitution because in the constitution there are special provisions for protection of life and interest of SCs, STs and Minorities.
George Tirkey, charged the governor of the state for not being efficient in administering scheduled areas as a result of which communal violence is created by antisocial elements in scheduled areas. Even there is a provision to provide 10 acres of forest land to the tribal families but none of them have received 10 acres of land. There is a provisions in the constitution the chair person of 20 members of tribal advisory council should be headed by a tribal person but unfortunately Chief Minister who is a non-tribal who is heading the council, therefore, the chief minister himself violate the constitution.
Bhajaman Behera said people are divided on party line and they are not able to come together for tackling the issues. Hence, he has given a call “Party Todo Samaj Jodo” he encouraged people to follow the path and ideology of Dr. Ambedkar because he has provided all the rights to SC, ST, OBC & Minority. The people are converted to other religion because they are not allowed to enter the temple. The Brahmins have forced Dalit and Adivasi to accept other religions and divide the society into different castes.
Puspa Panda said Kandhamal is famous for two things. first for Kandhamal violence and second for Infant Mortality Rate and Maternal Mortality Rate. But none of the political parties think about it. We have to identify those people who create communal violence. Nathuram Godse killed Mahatma Gandhi pretending to respect him by touching his feet, in the same way Narendra Modi while entering the parliament for the first time bowed down to destroy the constitution. Women are treated low in our society; she is forced to do all the household activities. Until and unless equal treatment for women society can’t progress.
Ramakrisna Panda asked about what changes have taken place Kandhamal after 8 years of communal violence. After Modi came to power mostly Ambedkarbadi, Perierbadi, communists are targeted. Communists are voice of voiceless people. These days those who want to educate themselves have to lose their life as we saw it in Rohit Vehmula case. He said Rohit Act should be passed immediately.
At the end some other local leaders spoke on the Kandhamal issues and demanded justice for the survivors. Many eminent guests and local leaders attended and encouraged the gathering.
A memorandum was submitted to Sub-Collector Balliguda and the state government with sets of demands
Demand for thorough and independent Inquiry by impartial police officers as well as prosecutors
Have shown their unhappiness of the state affidavit for compensation. Demands to file a Review Petition for enhancement of compensation as well as inclusion of Churches, humanitarian organisations that have not been covered yet in the verdict
Government officials; police and others who are in complicit and were indifferent during the violence should be prosecuted
Release of seven innocent persons, who are falsely accused of swami killing and behind the bars
Control the religious fanatic forces that operate in the district and create and espouse conflicts in the name of religions, caste and creed; as well as those who are on the hate campaign against religious minority and Christians in the district
Arrest and prosecute the SOG and Jawans, who staged fake encounter and killed 6 adivasis and dalits; enhance their compensation
Stop arresting and torturing Adivasis and Dalits in the name of naxalism
Implement Prime Minister 15 points Programme meant for Minorities in the district
Focus on health, education, communication as well as address the issues of unemployment in the district
Focus on undernourishment and food security issues
Provide Ration cards to the poor
Establish Minority Commission in state and district level as well as implement the minority MSDP programme