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Preliminary Findings And Recommendations Of
National People’s Tribunal On Kandhamal

By The National People’s Tribunal Jury

26 August, 2010

The National People’s Tribunal (NPT) on Kandhamal, held in New Delhi
on 22-24 August 2010, was organized by the National Solidarity Forum
- a countrywide solidarity platform of concerned social activists,
media persons, researchers, legal experts, film makers, artists,
writers, scientists and civil society organizations to assist the
victims and survivors of the Kandhamal violence 2008 to seek justice,
accountability and peace and to restore the victim-survivors’ right to
a dignified life.

The jury of the NPT was headed by Justice A.P. Shah, former Chief
Justice of the Delhi High Court. Joining him as jury members were
Harsh Mander (member of National Advisory Council), Mahesh Bhatt (film
maker and activist), Miloon Kothari (former UN Special Rapporteur on
Right to Housing), P. S. Krishnan (retired Secretary, Government of
India), Rabi Das (senior journalist based in Bhubaneswar), Ruth
Manorama (women and dalit rights activist), Sukumar Muralidharan
(Delhi-based free lance journalist), Syeeda Hameed (member of Planning
Commission, Government of India), Vahida Nainar (expert on
international law, mass crimes and gender), Vinod Raina (scientist and
social activist with a specific focus on right to education), Admiral
Vishnu Bhagwat (former Chief of Naval Staff) and Vrinda Grover
(advocate, Delhi High Court).

Thousands of dalits and tribals belonging to the Christian minorities
in the Kandhamal region of Orissa were victims of organized violence
starting in August 2007. According to government figures during the
last bout of violence from August to December 2008, in Kandhamal
district alone more than 600 villages were ransacked, 5600 houses were
looted and burnt, 54000 people were left homeless, 38 people were
murdered. Human rights groups estimate that over 100 people were
killed, including women, disabled and aged persons and children; and
an unestimated number suffered severe physical injuries and mental
trauma. While there are reports of four women being gang-raped, many
more victims of sexual assault are believed to have been intimidated
into silence. 295 churches and other places of worship, big and
small, were destroyed. 13 schools, colleges, and offices of 5 non-
profit organizations damaged. About 30,000 people were uprooted and
lived in relief camps and continue to be displaced. During this period
about 2,000 people belonging to minority communities were forced to
repudiate their Christian faith. More than 10,000 children had their
education severely disrupted due to displacement and fear. Today,
after two years, the situation has not improved, although the
administration time and again claims it is peaceful and has returned
to normalcy. With a view to create conditions for justice and
accountability for the violence, the National Solidarity Forum
organized a National People’s Tribunal (NPT) on 22-24 August 2010 at
the Constitution Club in Delhi. The objectives of the Tribunal were:

1. To provide a platform for victim-survivors and their families to
voice their experiences, perceptions, demands and aspirations to
civil society at large;

2. To study and analyse the long-term and short-term causes and impact
of the Kandhamal violence;

3. To assess the role, conduct and responsibility of various
organizations, groups of individuals or persons, in influencing,
precipitating and escalating the violence;

4. To assess the role played by the state and district administration
and public officials, including the police, before, during and after
the pogrom;

5. To assess the functioning of the criminal justice system for fixing
criminal accountability and prosecuting the guilty;

6. To study and analyse the various rights of victims and survivors
that have been violated during the violence and thereafter;

7. To recommend both short-term and long-term remedial measures for
promoting an efficient delivery of justice and reparations, and for
strengthening peace-building, prevention of communal violence and
secularism; and

8. To present the findings and recommendations before civil society,
including the media, and to persuade the government and other agencies
to pursue the necessary follow up action to restore dignity, right to
life, justice and peace to the victim-survivors of Kandhamal violence.

The Tribunal heard 43 victims, survivors and their representatives,
and 15 experts who presented studies / fact-finding reports on the
Kandhamal violence. Documentation related to each case, consisting of
affidavits, court documents, medical and other supporting documents,
as well as copies of reports and studies on the violence were placed
before the jury for its perusal. The depositions were on a range of
issues including a) adivasi and dalit rights to religious and culture
freedom; b) role of police, administration and the criminal justice
system; c) issues relating to housing, compensation, relief,
rehabilitation, food and livelihood, displacement and migration of the
victims; d) impact on children and their education; e) gender violence
and violations of human rights; and f) role of media, political
parties, and civil society in peace and reconciliation processes.
Formal invitations were extended to the Ministry of Minority Affairs,
Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Ministry of Women’s Development and Child
Welfare, Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, as well as the
National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Minorities,
National Commission for Scheduled Castes, National Commission for
Scheduled Tribes and National Commission for Women to participate in
the proceedings of the Tribunal. However, there was no participation
from the concerned ministries and commissions.


The jury records its shock and deep concern for the heinous and brutal
manner in which the members of the Christian community, a vast
majority of who are dalits and tribals were killed, dismembered,
sexually assaulted and tortured. The deliberate destruction of
evidence pertaining to these crimes came to the attention to the jury.
There was rampant and systematic looting and destruction of houses and
places of worship and means of livelihood. The victim-survivors
continue to be intimidated and systematically denied protection and
access to justice.

From the testimonies heard and the detailed reports received, the jury
is convinced that the carnage in Kandhamal is an act of communalism
mainly directed against the Christian community, a vast majority of
who are of scheduled caste origin and anyone who supported or worked
with the community. It is clear to us that there was deliberate
strategy of targeting of the community, fed by groups of the Hindutva
ideology such as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu
Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal and the active members of Bharatiya Janata
Party (BJP).

The jury is further convinced that the communal violence in Kandhamal
was the consequence of a subversion of constitutional governance in
which state agents were complicit.

The jury acknowledges and appreciates the courage, determination and
resilience of the victim-survivors and the human rights defenders
supporting them, who have braved physical, psychological and economic
hardships and intimidation to tell their stories before this Tribunal,
thereby breaking the culture of silence. After listening to the myriad
accounts of all the victim-survivors and their representatives, as
well as the experts who presented a summary of their studies / fact-
finding reports on the Kandhamal violence, the jury offers the
following preliminary findings and recommendations:


The jury observes that a majority of victim-survivors and their
families are from marginalized groups, particularly from the dalit and
adivasi (SC and ST) Christian community, and that most live in abject
poverty and on the brink of despair. The victim-survivors and their
families are yet to obtain justice, rehabilitation or regain a right
to life with dignity. The victims/survivors have undergone incredible
hardships, including physical and psychological trauma, threats and
humiliation, deprivation of a dignity, an extensive loss of movable
and immovable property, a source and means of livelihood and their
right to a decent standard of living - including food, housing,
education and health services. They have faced persecution in all its
forms – such as social and economic boycott as well as religious,
caste-based and cultural discrimination. They live under a constant
threat to their lives and personal security and continue to suffer
from trauma. The consequence is that even two year after the outbreak
of the violence, the victim-survivors are unable to return to their
villages and resume their normal way of life. They continue to be
subjected to constant and overt manifestations of communal, caste and
class-based discrimination. All victim-survivors and their
representatives who deposed before the Tribunal strongly articulated
their demand for justice and security.

The jury observes that communal forces have used religious conversions
as an issue for political mobilisation and to incite horrific forms of
violence and discrimination against the Christians of SC origin and
their supporters in Kandhamal. The object is to dominate them and
ensure that they never rise above their low caste status and remain
subservient to the upper castes. The jury observes, with deep concern,
that a range of coercive tactics have been used by the communal forces
for conversion or re-conversion of a person into the Hindu fold,
including threat, intimidation, social and economic boycott and
coercion, as well as the institutionalization of humiliating rituals.
The state and district administrations have, on no occasion,
intervened to protect the freedom of religion and freedom of

The jury observes, with concern, the institutionalised communal and
casteist bias of state agencies, and their deliberate dereliction of
constitutionally mandated duties, their connivance with communal
forces, participation in and support to the violence and a deliberate
scuttling of processes of justice through acts of commission and
omission. The state agencies have blatantly failed to extend much-
needed institutional support to victim-survivors and protect them from
ostracism, socio-economic boycott and subjugation by non-state


A. State’s Complicity and Collusion

• Institutional Bias: All testimonies and reports have pointed towards
the complicity of the police – senior officers as well as the
constabulary – during the phase of violence, and their collusion with
the wrongdoers during the phase of investigation and prosecution.
Based on the testimonies, the jury concludes that this was not an
aberration of a few individual police men, but evidence of an
institutional bias against the targeted Christian community.

• Failure to Prevent the Violence: The police deliberately failed to
prevent the violence by a) non-implementation of the recommendations
made by the National Commission for Minorities in its reports of
January and April 2008; b) permitting the funeral procession of Swami
Lakshmananda through a 170 kilometre route through communally
sensitive areas; c) allowing hate speeches and incitement to violence;
d) allowing a series of programmes by the communal forces (such as the
bandh of 25 August 2008, shraddhanjali sabhas and dharnas by Hindu
religious leaders). In particular, the permission given by the state
administration to the funeral procession cannot, in any way, be a mere
lapse of judgment. The state agencies displayed long overdue political
resolve when they stopped VHP leader Praveen Togadia from visiting
Kandhamal in March 2010. This late awakening was however, of little
help to the victim-survivors of the district.

• Suspension of Police Officials: Many witnesses deposed about the
failure of the police to protect them from the violence and their
refusal to register First Information Reports subsequently. There were
long delayed actions to check police complicity, when five police
officials were suspended for misconduct and negligence in connection
with the sexual assault on Sister Meena, and the identification of 13
police officials for failure to protect persons and property in
Kandhamal by A.K. Upadhyay, DIG (Training).

• Destruction of Evidence by Public Officials: The jury is constrained
to observe that public officials have colluded in the destruction of
evidence and there is testimony directly implicating the District
Collector in this misdemeanour (Case No. 24)

B. Communal Forces, Freedom of Religion and Discrimination

• Forcible Conversions: Testimonies pointed towards forcible
conversion of Christians to Hinduism during the violence and
subsequently, as a condition for their return to their villages. No
known action has been initiated against any of the perpetrators by the
administration under the provisions either of criminal law, or the
state’s Freedom of Religion Act.

• Serious Violation of Religious Freedom: The violent intimidation of
the Christian community, accompanied by social sanctions against the
practice of Christianity, the destruction and desecration of places of
worship, the forcible conversions to Hinduism, the killing and torture
of victims and survivors for their refusal to repudiate their faith,
are all acts violative of the constitutional guarantees of right to
life, equality and non-discrimination, as well as the right to
religious freedom.

• The Role of Hindutva forces: The accused identified in all witness
testimonies were members of Hindutva organisations. This is
substantiated by the response of Orissa Chief Minister, to a query
raised in the state Legislative Assembly, on 23 November 2009. In his
written response, Mr. Naveen Pattnaik said that pursuant to
investigation, 85 members of the RSS, 321 members of the VHP and 118
members of the Bajrang Dal had been arrested.

• Discrimination on the Basis of Caste and Religion: The targeted
violence against dalit Christians, as well as the continued
discrimination against them are violative of Constitutional guarantees
of equality, non-discrimination, right to a dignified life and the
prohibition of untouchability. Further, they amount to a serious
violation of all provisions of the UN Convention on Elimination of
Racial Discrimination (CERD), a convention ratified by India. The
Concluding Observations of its forty-ninth session held in August/
September 1996 (as it reviewed India's tenth to fourteenth periodic
reports under the International Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination, 1965), the Committee on the Elimination of
Racial Discrimination affirmed that "the situation of Scheduled Castes
and Scheduled Tribes falls within the scope of" the Convention. The
Committee states that "descent" contained in Article 1 of the
Convention does not refer solely to race, and includes the situation
of scheduled castes and tribes.

C. Sexual Violence and Other Gender Concerns

• Silence and Invisibility: The jury observes, with deep concern, that
silence continues to prevail in matters of sexual assault. This
applies at all levels, including documenting, reporting,
investigating, charging and prosecuting cases. Though witness
testimonies show that sexual violence was rampant, there are only five
reported cases, and an even smaller number that have been registered
and are pending in the courts. One of the testimonies refers to the
gang rape (Case No. 3), but none of the accused has been formally

• Special Vulnerability of Women: While all victims and survivors face
intimidation and threats, women face the additional danger of sexual
violence not just against themselves but also against their daughters
(Case No. 12). The immediate consequence of such threats is a
hightened sense of vulnerability and a restriction on their movement.
The jury observes that the threat of sexual assault against women
continues to be used as a tool to prevent families from returning to
their villages, to prevent women from resuming their livelihood
activities, and pursuing justice.

• Violation of international covenants: The pattern of violence
against women is violative of constitutional guarantees of equality,
non-discrimination on the ground of sex as well as a right to life
with dignity. In addition, the attacks violate international
standards, including the UN Convention on Elimination of Violence
Against Women (CEDAW) which has been ratified by India. The CEDAW
Committee, through General Recommendation 19, has clarified that
gender-based violence, that is, violence that is directed against a
woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately,
amounts to discrimination against women.

D. Failure of the Criminal Justice System

• Arbitrary Exercise of Discretionary Power: The jury observes, with
concern, an arbitrary exercise of the discretionary power vested in
the police and the prosecuting agencies. In many instances, the
police have refused to register FIRs, have delayed registering FIRs by
2-5 months, and dissuaded victim-survivors from registering FIRs and
coerced them to omit the names of perpetrators and other details from
the FIRs, particularly if they indicated the complicity of public
officials or members of communal organizations. Victim-survivors were
also shunted between various police stations for registration of FIRs
in contexts where their safety was at risk.

• Arrests: Many victim-survivors deposed before the jury that the
perpetrators of heinous crimes had not been arrested, and were roaming
freely and continuing to threaten, intimidate and humiliate them.
Testimonies point to an inordinate delay in arresting the
perpetrators, and a failure to arrest many more, contributing to an
overall climate of impunity. Honest police officials who attempted to
arrest perpetrators were threatened. Testimonies indicate that victim-
survivors were often threatened with arrest under fabricated charges
in order to silence them and deter them from pursuing justice.

• Investigation & Prosecution: The deliberate destruction of evidence,
particularly of killings, through the burning or disposal of bodies,
has resulted in the absence of forensic evidence in many cases.
Investigations were marked by a neglect of the basic requirements of
gathering evidence, which severely impaired the efficacy of the
prosecution. Delay in obtaining forensic evidence, failure in
obtaining corroborative evidence and the rampant intimidation of
victim-survivors and witnesses, have led to many acquittals.

• Appreciation of Evidence by the Fast Track Courts: Upon perusal of
judgments, affidavits and statements, the jury concludes that the
judicial weighing of evidence failed to recognise the extraordinary
context in which these mass crimes have been committed. Minor
discrepancies in witness testimonies in court have been given undue
weightage, leading to an alarmingly high number of acquittals.

• Judgment and Sentencing: Studies indicate that lenient sentences
have been awarded without an acknowledgment of the gravity of the
crimes committed and their consequences, both in terms of heinous
killings and assault, as well as rampant looting of movable property
and destruction of immovable property belonging to the dalit and
adivasi Christians. A fine of Rs. 2000 has been mechanically imposed,
without any correlation with the value of property destroyed. Further
there seems to have been little attempt to apply S. 357 of the Cr.PC
which provides for an imposition of a higher amount of fine, which
could be recovered and paid to victim-survivors as compensation.

• Gaps in Indian Criminal Law: The jury observes that clear gaps exist
in the criminal law to prosecute and punish those responsible for
targeted mass violence. These include the absence of investigative
procedures and evidentiary rules relating to mass crimes, such as
punishing for murder even in the absence of the body of deceased. The
protections guaranteed by law to public servants obstruct their
accountability. Such gaps make dispensation of justice in contexts of
mass violence extremely difficult.

• Relevance of International Criminal Law: The testimonies shows that
the Kandhamal violence meets all the elements of Crimes Against
Humanity as defined in applicable international law. The jury has come
across cases where victims were dismembered or burnt alive,
constituting the crime of torture under jurisprudence of international
courts and tribunals. (The International Criminal Court’s definition
of torture in Article 7 does not require that torture be committed by
public officials.) That a victim was forced to drink cow urine and
shave his head amounts to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under
the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

E. Protection of Victims and Witnesses, Access to Justice & Fair Trial

• Willingness to Testify in Court: Those who deposed before the
Tribunal were keen, ready and willing to depose before the Fast Track
courts. However, they face severe intimidation and threats. Despite
the concerned authorities being informed, no steps have been taken to
provide any protection to the witnesses and victim-survivors.

• Hostile Atmosphere in Court: The atmosphere in the trial court (Fast
Track courts) was described as hostile. The atmosphere was fearful as
the accused were accompanied by a large number of persons representing
the accused, and from communal forces. The atmosphere in court is not
conducive to a fair trial. There has been no initiative taken, either
by the Prosecutor or the court, to hold the proceedings in camera.

• Absence of Safe Passage: Victims who have dared to lodge complaints
& witnesses who have courageously given evidence in court are unable
to return to their homes. There is no guarantee of safe passage to and
from the courts. They are living in other cities and villages, many of
them in hiding, as they apprehend danger to their lives.

• Threat of Sexual Assault: Women victims and witnesses have received
constant threats of sexual violence and rape to themselves and their
daughters. Ironically most of the accused roam freely and live in
their villages and homes.

• Absence of Free Legal Aid: Since most of the victim-survivors are
from underprivileged communities, there is a dire need for quality
legal aid services at state expenses. None of those who deposed
before us had been extended free legal aid services. Most victim-
survivors have been supported in court through the initiatives of non-
profit organizations. The failure of the state to provide free legal
aid has contributed substantially to an absence of fair trial.

F. Concerns Related to Children

The most important finding related to children status in Kandhamal is
sense of hopelessness, injustice discrimination and fear prevailing
among children, threatening to severely impact their growth and

• Mental Health: Children are in deep state of mental trauma. There
has been no trauma counselling for the affected children and
adolescents in Kandhamal. Even today they have night mares of running
in the jungle, with the killers in pursuit, are scared of any loud
sound and are afraid of people walking in groups or talking loudly.
• Education: Large number of children has dropped out of school due to
financial and social insecurity and many have them have gone out for
work. Many of them had to discontinue their education due to
discrimination meted out to them by the school authority and also in
some cases by children in schools. Many children were forced to change
school and many of them opted for residential schools out of the
state. Post violence many dropped out due to the inability of the
families to bear the expenses, fear, and also due to lack of
facilities to commute to school.
• Child Labour: Many children have left education and have gone to
Kerala, Surat and neighbouring states. Even girls have gone to
Udhagamandalam (Ooty) and working in coffee plantation. there is no
data available with the district Labour Office regarding the present
status of child labour in the state. Last child labour census in the
district was done in 1997.
• Child Trafficking: There are rise incidences of trafficking for
children, mainly for labour, sexual exploitation and abuse. Though
there are no consolidated data on number of children being trafficked
post violence in the district, we have come across some instances.

G. Reparations

• Compensation: Compensation for loss of life, injuries and loss of /
damage to property has been awarded in an extremely arbitrary manner.
The amounts awarded are grossly inadequate and do permit victim-
survivors to regain the standards of living enjoyed prior to the
violence. The award of compensation does not recognize sexual assault
or the extent of loss of house and movable property destruction, the
exclusion of which has caused immense difficulties to victim-survivors
and their families.

• Relief and Humanitarian Assistance: From the testimonies of victim-
survivors and reports, it is evident that the relief camps did not
provide for basic facilities such as nutritious food, clean water and
sanitation, or adequate security. There was a lack of trauma
counselling, medical assistance and other forms of humanitarian
assistance that ought to have been made available to all victim-
survivors in the relief camps.

• Safe Return or Resettlement: Many victim-survivors have been forced
or duped into returning to their villages, where they have faced
continuous threat, intimidation and fear of attacks if they did not
repudiate their faith. Many victim-survivors and their families
continue to live on the outskirts of their villages, without any
source of livelihood. The state and district authorities have taken
no proactive measures at creating an atmosphere conducive for the safe
return of victim-survivors to their villages. By failing to recognize
the right of all victim-survivors and their families to a safe return
to their villages or resettlement at state expense, the state has
grossly violated the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement

• Reconstruction of Houses and Places of Worship: Some victim-
survivors have been provided inadequate compensation for rebuilding
their houses and many excluded from an award of compensation
altogether. A majority of places of religious worship that had been
damaged or destroyed during the violence, have not been re-built. The
amounts awarded as compensation to some are grossly inadequate for re-
building such structures, while many others have been denied
compensation altogether on technical grounds. The jury strongly
believes that reconstruction of houses and places of worship at state
expense would restore a sense of confidence and justice among the
victim-survivors and their families, and restore them to a life with

• Livelihood and Education: Many educational institutions that had
been damaged or destroyed during the violence are yet to be rebuilt,
thereby depriving children from victim-survivor communities of their
right to education, jeopardizing their future opportunities and
causing a generational setback for emerging deprived dalit
communities. Many victim-survivors who lost their source of
livelihood, including agricultural land and government jobs, due to
the mass displacement that took place, have received no assistance
from the state for a restoration of the same. Many testimonies
presented before the jury highlighted the fact that victim-survivors
have been illegally deprived of employment under the National Rural
Employment Guarantee Act subsequent to the violence.

• Peace-building: Although village level peace committees had been set
up, the testimonies before the jury as well as studies and reports
indicate that such committees have not enjoyed the confidence of the
victim-survivors and have been used as a platform for further
intimidation. Notably, there has been no involvement of women in
peace-building and negotiating processes, which violates standards set
by international law, particularly UN Security Council Resolution

H. Human Rights Defenders

Non-profit organizations and human rights defenders have been targeted
for their role in assisting victims with aid, relief, rehabilitation
and process of justice. Victim-survivors have testified with regard to
the destruction of personal and official property, attacks and damage
to the offices of such organizations. These are contrary to the
United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders that calls upon
the State to protect Human Rights Defenders and their work.


• Enquiry into and suspension of police and administrative officials
responsible for grave dereliction of duty.

• Proactive prevention of programmes planned by Hindutva forces that
are divisive and propagate hate such as kalash yatra, Shraddhanjali
sabhas (memorial meetings) and dharnas by Hindu religious leaders of
Orissa held to perform rituals to eliminate the ‘enemies of Hindus.’

• Sections 153 A and B of the Indian Penal Code be strictly enforced.

• National Legal Services Authorities at both State and Central level
to set up legal cell to assist victims to register FIRs where they
were not registered or inaccurately registered, re-open closed cases,
and transfer pending cases to outside the Kandhamal jurisdiction.

• A Special Investigation Team (SIT) be constituted to re-examine the
already registered FIRs for accuracy, examine registrations of fresh
FIRs, the trials that resulted in acquittals due to intimidation and/
or lack of evidence and recommend the trials that need to be
transferred or fresh trial conducted outside Kandhamal;

• Proactively identify cases of sexual assault has been grossly
underreported due to fear and intimidation; and recognize and charge
sexual assault in FIRs where they have not been so recognized.

• Appoint Special Public Prosecutors who enjoy the confidence of the
affected community.

• State must provide protection to victims and witnesses before,
during and after the trial process according to the guidelines
provided in the recent judgment of the Delhi High Court.

• Endorse the recommendations of the National Advisory Council of
drafting a new bill on mass crimes against impunity and secure
accountability for mass crimes. The draft be in accordance with the
emerging international standards of individual criminal accountability
for mass crimes as set in the statute of the International Criminal
Court and jurisprudence of international courts and tribunals.

• Both the State and Central government adopt at the very minimum the
Gujarat compensation package to enhance the compensation already
announced. In addition, victims of sexual assault be included as a
ground eligible for compensation and employment. , Compensation for
loss of livelihood

• All mechanisms set up to improve the criminal justice response,
provide reparations, including compensation and rehabilitation be
based on human rights indicators and standards that recognises the
fact that even after two years thousands continue to be displaced.

• State make all effort to provide medical and psychological,
particularly trauma counselling to the victims/ survivors,
particularly the women and children.

• The specific educational needs of the children who have suffered
displacement as a result of the violence be address with measures such
as bridge school under the Sarva siksha Abhiyan, Kasturba Balika
Vidhyalaya for SCs and STs girls; and residential ashram schools.

• The livelihood schemes of the state and central government be
particularly provided to the affected community including M G Narega
and special thrust be given for the affected youth in the PM’s skill
training mission.

• The special component plan for the SC and the tribal sub-plan for
STs should given priority focus to the schemes directed at the
affected community. Dalit Christians to be provided all non-statutory
benefits available to schedule castes.

• All training centres both of administrative and police to focus on
education and awareness about rights, secularism and constitutional
guarantees to minorities.

• Restitution and Rehabilitation to follow the international standards
set in paragraphs 16-18 and 25-29 of the UN Guiding Principles on
Internal Displacement and paragraphs 52 to 68 of the UN Basic
Principles and Guidelines on Development based Evictions and
Displacement, 2007.

• The State should recognize the Internally Displaced Persons’ right
to return to their homes and create all possible enabling conditions
to facilitate such safe return in accordance with the above standards.

• Review The Orissa Freedom of Religion Act 1967 given the failure of
the state machinery to prevent the violence and protect lives and
properties of the people.

• Designate the affected areas as communally sensitive, appoint
officers with professional integrity and sensitivity to the overall
communal context and be alert to any early warning signs and develop
appropriate response mechanisms to halt the brewing of hate
mobilization and religious and caste-based discriminative activities.

• Given the fact that human rights violations continue to take place
as outlined in this report, the NHRC should take immediate steps to
initiate an investigation into the incidences of violence.

• The National Commission on protection of Children Rights should
investigate the need for children of the affected community to receive
trauma counselling, to respect and promote their right to education
and nutrition, take specific steps to prevent child labour and child
trafficking. Appropriate agencies at the central and state levels need
to respond to these issues.

• All efforts by the central and state government to improve the
situation in Kandhamal must comply with the provisions of
international human rights instruments that India has signed and
ratified including CERD, CAT, CEDAW, CESCR, CRC, , UNPCR, UNDHR.

• Confidence-building and peace-building initiatives by the state and
district administration should have the participation of members of
the affected community, particularly women.

• The state and district administration should, with immediate effect,
implement the recommendations of the National Commission for
Minorities, issued in their reports of January, April and September

Justice A.P. Shah, Former Chief Justice, Delhi High Court
Harsh Mander, Member National Advisory Council
Mahesh Bhatt, Film maker and activist
P. S. Krishnan, Former Secretary, Government of India
Miloon Kothari, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Right to Housing
Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, Former Chief of Naval Staff
Syeeda Hameed, Member, Planning Commission
Vahida Nainar, Expert International law
Sukumar Muralidharan, Free lance journalist
Vinod Raina, Scientist and Social Activist, Right to Education
Ruth Manorama, Dalit & women’s rights Activist
Vrinda Grover Advocate t
Rabi Das Senior Journalist, Bhubaneswar