Resign If You Can t Protect Minorities, SC to Orissa Govt.

General fr 07/01/2009

EFI News

The Evangelical Fellowship of India welcomes the recent orders passed by the Supreme Court of India directing the Orissa State government to take all necessary measures to protect the minorities in India.

The Supreme Court on Monday (January 5) said it would not allow "persecution" of minorities and asked the Orissa government to resign if it was unable to protect Christians who were targeted in recent riots that followed the assassination of a VHP leader in 2008.

A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice Markandey Katju and Justice P. Sathasivam asked the BJD-led government to reconstruct the churches damaged during the violence.

"We will not accept the persecution of minority. If the state government is unable to protect them it should resign. We have to protect the minorities… No minority community should be insecure in the country," Justice Katju said.

"It is the duty of the state government to protect the minority community. You (state) have done this only after 50,000 people of the minority community fled to the jungles," he stated.

The apex court, which in October last, had directed the stationing of para-military forces in the riot-hit areas till December-end in view of Christmas, asked the state government not to take any unilateral decision on its withdrawal.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Cuttack Archbishop Raphel Cheenath seeking the intervention of Central forces in stemming the communal violence which erupted in Kandhamal District of Orissa against Christians after prominent Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Laxmanananda Saraswati was gunned down on August 23, 2008 at his ashram.

Nun Rape Case Development

In the Nun Rape case, the 29-year-old nun identified two persons from a line-up of 80 during the identification parade (TIP) which was held at high-security Circle Choudwar jail in Cuttack on January 5th 2008. Although ten persons had been arrested in connection with the case, however, 80 others were also paraded before the nun during the TIP.

A court in Baliguda had fixed dates for the TIP twice earlier, but the nun, who had left Orissa after the incident, failed to turn up while seeking change of venue stating that she did not want to visit Kandhamal again.

The nun was allegedly raped at K Nuagaon in strife-torn Kandhamal during the communal violence on August 25.
 

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
General Secretary
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India

 

Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations