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Posted Online on Friday 2, September 2005 11:20 IST

Minorities are not for burning 

The Milli Gazette (online edition)

PRESS STATEMENT

Christian groups condemn Haryana violence against Dalit;
Government action must tell the Nation that Dalits, Minorities are not for burning

New Delhi, 1 September, 2005: The Christian community is aghast at the unpardonable violence against Dalits in the Haryana village of Gohana. Upper caste goons have reportedly burn all the houses, over 60, of resident Dalits who have been forced to flee the village fearing further violence against their lives.
On behalf of the All India Catholic Union and the All India Christian Council, I call on the Prime Minister of India – a day after his pro-Dalit and pro-minority address at the National Integration Council – to take urgent steps so that an example is set and a message goes out that India’s Dalits and minorities are not for burning.

That Indian television networks could reach the village and film the carnage with the fires still burning shows graphically the failure of the police forces to take timely action although they had ample warming and time about the impending violence. Their connivance cannot be ruled out. Their neglect and attitude towards the Dalits stands proved.

The fire is attributed to upper caste retribution for a murder allegedly committed by Dalit youth. The police have arrested the youth.

The tendency however in the country, specially in the northern states, seems to be of local goons and caste chieftains to adopt a vigilante action more reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan in the United States a century ago, taking the law into their own hands.

This is the mindset that makes gangs rape nuns and kill priests on the pretext of stopping forcible conversions – an ideology supported by many a ruling party in this country. The upper caste violence against Dalits also goes un-condemned by the same groups.

Dr. John Dayal
Member: National Integration Council
Government of India
National President: All India Catholic Union (Founded 1919)
Secretary General: All India Christian Council 
Email <johndayal@bol.net.in> «

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