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Kandhamal Survivors Apprehensive Of Bandh Call On Christmas

By Jugal Kishore Ranjit & Bipracharan Nayak

23 December, 2011

We, on behalf of the “Kandhamal Survivors’ Association” - the victims
of Communal Violence in Kandhamal that took place in 2007 and 2008
would like to bring the following matter for your kind attention and

As you may be all aware of that a bandh-call has been given by Sangh
Parivar from 24th to 27th December in Kandhamal district using the
name of Mr. Lambodar Kahnar, the so-called Convener of ‘Kui Samanyaya
Samitee’, which falls during the Christmas week. Since 2007, these
people have been giving bandh-calls each year during the same time for
one or other reasons. Now, it is clear that the reasons for
bandh-calls are communally motivated and intended to create
disturbance during the Observation of Christmas, to terrorize the
Christian community people. Last year the reason was to
remember/protest the murder of ‘Hindus’ during violence, this year to
demand the punishment for fake-caste certificate holders. Whole the
year they would forget the demands, suddenly they would give a
bandh-call for 24-26 December. Now, there is no doubt that the Bandh
call has only one objective to materialize the interests of Sangha
Parivar using the name of tribals. The bandh call had its harvests in
2007 and 2008 by facilitating large scale anti-Christian violence,
when the district administration utterly failed to take any measure to
protect the lives, properties of thousands of people. This time also
we don’t see any proactive measures by it although we have appealed at
least three times to the district collector.

We are afraid that it will not only create law and order problem, but
also it will restrict the Christians to celebrate the long awaited
Christmas peacefully and freely.

While we are in fully support of any genuine and democratic causes and
demands by anybody, we do sincerely request all political parties
believing in democracy and Indian Constitution to take necessary steps
to make the administration to stop such ‘practices’ of communal
mobilization intended to terrorise the minorities. We would request
you that you may, please, send letters to the district, state and
national authorities and give press statements

Needless to mention here that although we are for the freedom of
expression and do not wish to curb democratic and non-violent
demonstrations and political activity by any group, but we strongly
believe it is the duty of the government to ensure that the minorities
are allowed to observe their freedom of religion peacefully. In
Kandhamal, we have had bitter experience. Out community has been
deeply wounded, especially in the aftermath of bundh calls during and
around Christmas. We are therefore apprehensive of such bandh calls
and sincerely request your intervention.





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