Indian American Muslim group calls for speedy justice for Kandhamal victims on the second anniversary of violence
Indian Muslim Council-USA (IMC-USA – http://www.imc-usa.org ), an advocacy group dedicated to safeguard India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, calls on the Indian government to take immediate steps to ensure speedy justice for the victims on the second anniversary of Kandhamal massacre of Christians and Adivasis.
It has been two years since radical Hindutva groups unleashed an orgy of violence against the Indian Dalit Christians and Adivasis in Kandhamal district of Orissa state in India. There was a surge in violence since the Christmas-eve in 2007 which got considerably aggravated in August 2008, following the murder of the VHP leader Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati. According to official figures, over 600 villages were ransacked, 5600 houses were looted and burnt, 54,000 people were left homeless and 38 people murdered. Three women were gang raped, while many others were injured and 295 churches were destroyed. Thousands of people are unable to return, and are still living in temporary tents.
What makes this horrific carnage ironic is that most of the people responsible for it, are walking around free, and the few accused are being acquitted. IMC-USA demands the government of India to take immediate and stern action against all the guilty to ensure that no community irrespective of their religion, caste, convictions, political and social views in India should have to go through a tragic event like this again.
The National Public Tribunal headed by Mr. A.P. Shah, former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court after hearing the victims and witnesses has found that trial procedures have been compromised by willfully recording of crimes of lesser magnitude in the police reports and the tribunal demanded the appointment of a special public prosecutor to ensure transparency.
IMC-USA echoes the demands of the National Public Tribunal on the appointment of a transparent investigation and prosecution agency to ensure fair trials and speedy justice for the victims.
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