Justice For Kandhamal: National Day Of Protest, August 25, 2010
11 AM ONWARDS AT JANTAR MANTAR, NEW DELHI
One of the worst communal genocide attempts on the Christian community which took place in one of the poorest districts in India, Kandhamal, has shaken the conscience of many in this country. Nearly 100 people were killed, women were gang raped and many were injured. The fact that the majority of the population of Kandhamal are adivasis and dalits has only aggravated the criminal negligence of the administration. About 295 churches were destroyed and even schools, colleges and medical institutions were not spared.
Even now, thousands of people cannot go back to their villages. Many are still living in tents even 2 years after the violence.
When all the premises of Indian Constitution are destroyed by a group of Sangh Parivar followers, it is a shame that the administration stood as either silent spectators or indirectly supporting the genocide attempt. The large scale displacement during the last two years, life in refugee camps and the breakdown of many family units under the pressure of poverty have affected the psychological status of the people. Many are still living with fear and trauma.
Minor and adolescent girls are being trafficked under the guise of security and livelihood. Many children have dropped out from schools. Widespread ostracisation of the Christians in Kandhamal has affected the employment of the adults and education of their children. A meagre compensation given by the Government was not even enough to meet the medical needs for many.
The survivors of Kandhamal violence are still under threat and over 15,000 people cannot go to their own villages unless they convert to Hinduism. Out of 3,300 complaints filed by the victims in the local police stations, only 831 have been registered as FIRs. Majority of the registered cases have not been investigated.
We strongly condemn the attacks on all religious minorities and appeal to all democratic forces to strongly unite and fight against the spread of communal fascism. We appeal to all peace loving people in the country to support the cause for justice in Kandhamal.
Full compensation to all widows/next of kin of those who died in the riots. *Compensation for loss of livelihood for two years and resettlement with full land rights. *Immediate justice for victims of gender violence. *Trauma counselling for children, women and men who are still affected communal violence. *Reinstate the education of young children who were affected by the violence. *Prosecution of District, state and administrative officials, including the police officers for their dereliction of duty during violence and rehabilitation. *Transfer the investigation to Central Bureau of Investigation/SIT. *Full compensation for houses destroyed in mass arson. *Employment of men and women victims. *Implementation of a basic witness protection scheme and provision of assistance and remuneration to victims in order to ensure their testimony in court. *Repeal the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act, 1967. *Establishment of a State Commission for Minorities, in the model of its national counterpart
All India Democratic Women’s association (AIDWA); All India Students Association (AISA); All India Students Federation (AISF); All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA); All India Youth Federation (AIYF); Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA); Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF); National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW); National Confederation of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR); National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers (NFFPFW); National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR); New Trade Union Initiative (NTUI); Progressive Students Union (PSU); Students Federation of India (SFI); with National Solidarity Forum.