Centre must prevent a Gujarat 2002 in Orissa
AIMMM Statement on the on-going anti-Christian violence in Orissa
Centre must step in, in order to prevent a repetition of Gujarat 2002 in Orissa
3 Jan, 2008: The All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawarat (AIMMM) President, Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan, issued the following statement on Thursday, 3 January 2007, about the ongoing anti-Christian violence in Orissa:
The anti-Christian violence which erupted in various parts of Orissa, especially in the district of Kandhamal, in the morning of 24
th December, still continues unabated. According to reports, six persons have been killed so far; 70 churches / institutions have been attacked/broken/torched; 600 Christian houses have been damaged and torched; 5000 persons have been affected by these attacks; 15 vehicles belonging to Christians have been either broken or burnt in addition to many other material losses. Reportedly, hundreds of Christians have fled their villages, taking shelter in safer places including forests. In terms of scale, these attacks are a repetition of the attacks on Christians in Gujarat's Dangs district during Christmas 1998.
These attacks seem pre-planned in which Hindutva militants are killing and terrorising a peaceful community while the state government pays lip service and fails to control the violence even on the tenth day of its eruption. Violence was reported even as the Union home minister visited the area yesterday.
AIMMM deplores the state government of Orissa for its inaction and tacit support to the killers and arsonists armed with sticks, knives and lethal weapons like guns.
The central government should not remain a mere spectator. It should use all its powers under the Constitution to advise and remind the state government of its constitutional duty to protect lives of innocents and prosecute the criminals. Should such efforts fail, the central government must quickly intervene and deploy central forces in the affected areas in order to prevent a repetition of Gujarat 2002 in Orissa where a BJP-allied government has clearly failed to discharge its duties under Constitution and law.
The Orissa government has failed to set up a state minorities commission, as such there is no official watchdog to take care of the conditions of the minorities in the state which has earlier seen the cruel murder of Father Staines and his sons at the hands of the same forces which are again on the rampage now.
The Christian minority has been a target of attacks in various states in North India in recent years at the hands of Hindutva goons, taking advantage of the unconstitutional anti-conversion laws which should now be scrapped in right earnest.
Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan
ALL INDIA MUSLIM MAJLIS-e-MUSHAWARAT
D-250, Abul Fazal Enclave, Jamia Nagar, New Delhi - 110 025 Phone:
2694 6780 Fax: 2694 7346 Email:
email@example.com ; www.mushawarat.com