Memorandum Submitted to National Human Rights Commission

December 31, 2007
Justice Shri. Rajendra Babu
Chairman, National Human Rights Commission
Faridkot House,
Copernicus Marg,
New Delhi-110001,

Sir,

We would like to represent to you the sad situation prevailing in Kandhamal District and several other parts of Orissa. Christians are brutally attacked by the fundamentalists and law and order is fully missing especially in Kandhamal district where the fundamentalists have taken charge of the whole district.

The trouble began on 24th December at 8.00 a.m. at Bamunigam village, close to the police station under Daringibadi Block of Kandhamal District. Some Hindu Fundamentalists forcefully removed the Christmas decoration, which the Ambedkar Baniko Sangho comprising the local Christian entrepreneurs, had put up as a preparation for Christmas, with the due
permission of the administration. This was followed by exchange of hot words between two groups, as the Fundamentalists insisted to stop Christmas celebrations. Within a few minutes a group of people who were stationed close by pounced on the members of Ambedkar Baniko Sangho with sticks, knives and other lethal weapons like guns.

Seeing the crowd coming to attack the people dispersed out of fear. The Fundamentalists began to destroy the shops of Christians. About fifteen shops have been destroyed and looted. They also shot at Christian community by guns, badly injuring two of them. They also destroyed about fifteen shops belonging to the Christians and looted the property
available. Six seven members of Ambedkar Baniko Sangho were beaten up by the mob.

On the second day, 25th December, the crowd came back and destroyed the Churches in Bamunigam area. Then they
entered the Christian villages and burnt their houses and property. They were also threatened to leave their places.

The state Government from the day violence broke out against Christians have been denying of its seriousness by repeated misleading statement of the situation being under control and returned to the normal life while fundamentalist went on rampaging the Christian minorities.

The state police have sided with perpetrators allowing the fundamentalists rampaging around the Christian homes, institutions, and churches. Police had dissuaded Christian victims to lodge complaint against the
culprits.

The civil society fact finding team led by Dr. John Dayal, member of National Integration Council reached the
violence affected area which was later expelled from the area by Inspector General Police Mr. Pradeep Kapur on December 29, 2007, reported the following figures of damage caused by fundamentalists:

Details and Numbers

Churches/Institution attacked, broken, and torched – 70
Christian houses broken and torched – 600
No of people affected by this attack – 5000
No of vehicles of Christian people Either broken/burnt – 15
No of Motor Cycles – 25
No of computers broken – 40
Cash looted —
Deaths- 6

INSTITUTIONS & CHURCHES ATTACKED SO FAR

Parish Churches and Village Churches

Balliguda
Bodagan-Balliguda
Balliguda town
Kamapada – Balliguda
Pobingia
Mandipanka-Godapur
Baminigam
Jhinjirguda- Bamunigam
Ulipadaro – Bamunigam
Goborkutty-Kattingia
Kulpakia- Nuagam
Dohapanga-Balliguda
4village Churches – Nuagam
3 more village church
Bakingia( Raikia )
Boriguda ( Padangi )

Convents and Presbyteries

Balliguda
Balliguda
Pobingia
Pobingia
Phulbani
Bamunigam
Sankharkhole
Padangi
Bamunigam

Hostel

Pobingia2
Balliguda 2
Bamunigam 2
Minor Seminary
(Balliguda)
Vocational Training Centre (Balliguda)

Affected Villages

The worse affected are Kandhamal and Gajatati districts. The following villages of Kandhmal district are worse affected:

Barakhama, Pobingia, Balliguda, Bamunigam, Sankharkhole, Sirtiguda, Dalagam, Irpiguda, Tikabali, Godapur, Daringibadi and while over sixty other villages remain still tense and affected by the fundamentalists. Majority of the Christian victims are the members of tribal communities.

Those who fled from their villages into forest for their survival are starving without food. They are surviving with water from the streams in forest without shelter and clothing. Those old and feeble who could not flee are in extreme condition at the hands of fundamentalist. They are forced to renounce their Christian faith and convert to Hinduism, cow dung water are forced to drink and heads shaved off and forced to bow to idols.

In View Of The Facts Stated Above We Demand The Followings:

1. Immediate protection of the affected villages of Kandhamal, Gajati and
other affected districts must be intervened.

2. Compensation of Rs 500,000 (rupees five lakhs) to dead victims, Rs
200,000 (rupees two lakhs) to the injured victims must be given as per
as Scheduled Caste/Tribe Prevention of Atrocity Actions 1995.

3. Compensation to the homes, churches, institutions, and property damaged
caused by the violence of fundamentalists must be provided as per as
Scheduled Caste/Tribe Prevention of Atrocity Act 1995.

4. Enquiry and action must be taken against collector, Superintendent of
Police and other authorities for not protecting the citizen of the
above mentioned towns and villages.

5. Enquiry and action must be taken against Chief Secretary and Director General
Police of Orissa for misleading the nations by repeatedly making
statements of normal situation while the affected areas were totally in
control of fundamentalists.

6. Initiate action against the culprits under Scheduled Caste/Tribe Prevention of
Atrocity Act 1995.

7. Order deployment of Central Police Force for a period of 3 months in all affected villages.

8. Direct the Government of Orissa to register First Information Report
against complaints filed by the victims.

9. Direct the Government of Orissa to frame guideline to register First
Information Report.

10. Direct the Government of Orissa to frame compensation package for all the victims.

11. Constitute a Fact Finding Team to table a report within 30 days.

12. Direct the Magistrate in the affected areas to take suo moto action
against the accused and monitor the compensation process to the victims.

13. Direct the state government to initiate a CBI enquiry.

14. Recommend to set up state minority commission.

The. Most Rt. Rev Vincent Concessao
Archdiocese of Delhi
1, Ashok Place , New Delhi-110001
Phone:2334357, 23362058,

Rev. Dr. Joseph D’souza
President, All India Christian Council
Plot No. 142, Telecom Colony, Kanajiguda,
Secunderabad – 500 015,
AP, INDIA
Tel 040-257868907, Fax 040-27868908

Dr. Udit Raj,
President
All India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations
113 B Sarvodya Enclave
New Delhi Tel
26960022

The Rt. Rev. Karam Masih
Church of North India
F-2/11, Model Town II,
Delhi 11009

Rev. Dr. Dominic Emmanuel
Director and Spokesperson
Delhi
Catholic Archdiocese
Communication/Information Bureau
9-10 Bhai Veer Singh Marg
New Delhi 110 001

Ms. Lansinglu Rongmei
Joint Secretary,
Christian Legal Association
B-123, 2nd Floor, Amar Colony,
Lajpat Nagar IV,
New Delhi 110024.

Rev. Dr. Abraham Sahu
President,
All India Christian Council, Delhi
President, Philadelphia
Churches in India
523,Divyajyoti Apartments,
Block-C, Sector 19, Rohini
Delhi – 110 085 India

2 Responses

  1. Your submissions on Assault on the Chrsitians of Orissa during Christmas 2007 are very informative and up to date. Thank you very much.
    Keep it up.
    C.M. Paul

  2. Your report on attack on Christians in Orissa is up to date. Thank you all. Pray for us, Christians of my archdiocese where these attachas been taken. I am also old member of ipsbu . With best wishes,
    fr.bijaya kumar pradhan

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