Report from Ancy Paladka
Daijiworld Media Network - Mumbai (SP)
Mumbai, Sep 5: The Naional Integration Council and All India Christian Council, thorugh a press release, have asked the government to impose a ban of the proposed 'Kalash yatra' of the ashes of the slain VHP leaders for the fear, that it may flare religious sentiments and cause further trouble in the strife-torn state of Orissa.
While making the above demand through a statement released on Thursday September 4 by National the Inegration Council member and secretary general of All India Christian Council Dr Sam Paul and national secretary for Public Affairs on the Situation in Orissa Dr John Dayal, have also made the following observations on the current situation in Orissa.
They have dubbed the calls for the Christians to hold dialogues with the Sangh Parivar, particularly the Vishwa Hindu Parishat that has wreaked havoc with the Christian community, as obscene and insensitive, and demanded for subjecting rapists, arsonists and murderes who are responsible for the genocide that has rocked Orissa, to the severest punishment possible. They have said, that the hatred unleashed by the criminals has destroyed 4,000 houses in 300 villages, driven 50,000 Christians to forests where they are now hiding out of fear for life, raped a nun and burnt a woman alive. Two pastors were among the 24 killed in violence, they have said.
They have added, that having a dialogue on the suggested lines will result in the betrayal of the persecuted church and other minorities who are made to bear the brunt of the Sangh Parivar hatred. The Sangh Parivar is involved with ethnic cleansing and aims to create a fascist India of 'One People, One Faith, One Culture,' the release stated. They have urged the union and the state governments to take stringent action against the RSS and other organizations, who have been unlelashing terror in the state, in the name of avenging the murder of VHP vice president Lakshamananda Saraswati on August 23, 2008.
The release said, that the Christian community has already approached the Supreme Court on the issue and met the President of India, Prime Minister, union home minister and Orissa governor besides the UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, with the demand to end violence immediately and to stop the VHP from executing its plans of taking out 'Kalash Yatra' of the ashes of the slain leader through the troubled state. The union government has also been asked to invoke Article 355 in the state and to impose president's rule in Orissa if this step fails to contain violence.
The inestigations into the incidents of violence let loose in Orissa right from December 2007 including the murder of VHP leader Lakshmanananda Saraswati, should be handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigations and the chief secretary, home secretary and the director general of polie in the state should be immediately suspended for gross dereliction of duty, they have demanded. The release has also asked for the entrustment of Kandhamal district to the Indian army for restoring confidence in the victims. It has also demanded for initiating steps to trace people who have been abducted, dead or injured since the last week. Scores of Christian tribals and dalit villagers hiding in forests should be brought back to their villages, they demanded.
The joint reease has also demanded for expanding the terms of reference of the sitting judicial Commission headed by Justice Basudeo Panigrahi, to fix responsibility and culpability on government servants of all ranks, as also on guilty politicians. Exemplary compensation to the next of kin of the dead and the injured should be immediately granted. Compensation should also be paid to the churches for rebuilding and restoration works and institutions, the release has demanded, adding that a fast track criminal court should be set up to try the guilty.