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Observe 25 August As ‘Kandhamal Day’!

06 August, 2010

National People’s Tribunal to Probe Kandhamal violence

The National Solidarity Forum (NSF) – a countrywide platform of
concerned civil society organizations has called for observation of 25
August 2010 as ‘Kandhamal Day’. Thousands of Christian minorities in
the Kandhamal region of Orissa were victims of organized violence by
Hindu fundamentalists for over nine months starting in August 2007 and
even today are yet to obtain justice or rehabilitation.

Human rights groups estimate that in the months of violence against
Christian minorities over 100 people were killed, including women,
disabled persons and children, adivasis and dalits. Three women were
gang-raped and many injured. 295 churches, big and small, were
destroyed. 13 schools, colleges, and offices of 5 NGOs damaged. About
30,000 people had to live in relief camps for months.

The NSF aims to take up solidarity actions to help the victims and
survivors of the Kandhamal violence. With a view to creating pressure
on the Indian government it also plans to organize a national level
People’s Tribunal on 22, 23 and 24th August, 2010 at the Constitution
Club in Delhi.

Among the objectives of the Tribunal will be:

To assess the role, conduct and responsibility of various
organizations, group of individuals or persons, in influencing,
precipitating or escalating the violence
To assess the role played by the Administration and police before,
during and after the pogrom
To study and analyse the various aspects of the problems faced by
survivors and victims of violence
To recommend both short-term and long-term measures for the necessary
reparation, peace building, justice delivery, prevention of communal
violence and strengthening secularism

The NPT will have a panel of Jury members consisting of persons of
national repute and credibility with required expertise to spearhead
the process. The process shall include review of relevant documents
and reports, field studies, hearing testimonies of survivors,
witnesses, victims, concerned human rights’ activists, civil society
organisations, experts, government representatives, local
organizations and others. The process will culminate in a three-day
public hearing on 22nd, 23rd and 24th July, 2010 at the Constitution
Club in New Delhi. About 250 people including 50 victims, experts,
media persons, activists, researchers, international observers,
legislators and others will participate in the Tribunal proceedings.

On the same dates as the tribunal an exhibition with articles from the
site of the violence and paintings narrating human stories from
Kandhamal will be held at the Constitution Club. The National
Solidarity Forum has called for a national and international public
action in the form of protests, public meetings, exhibitions, film
screenings and other civil society organizations on August 25, 2010,
to demand justice to the victims of Khandamal communal massacre.

For further information contact: Dhirendra Panda, Cell: 09437385757;
Email ID: nptkandhamal@gmail.com , dhirendrapanda@gmail.com, Address:
A-124/6, First Floor, Katwaria Sarai, New Delhi, India - 110 016