The 7 day sit-in peaceful Dharna by the Christian community at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, from 26th September to 2nd October 2008 ended with a Peace March of approximately 10,000 protestors to the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat, on his 139th birth anniversary.
Religious leaders from all faiths, and social activists also joined Christians from all denominations in the Peace March.
A memorandum addressed to Mahatma Gandhi Bapu, was read, with copies to Bhim Rao Ambedkar, Sardar Vallbhai Patel, Jawaharlal Nehru, members of the constituents assembly; the President, the Prime Minister and the Government of India.
The memorandum read: There is pain and anguish in our voice today as we cry out to you for help. The nation you had helped in creating is experiencing destruction. Citizens are set one against another. India Christians are being killed. Our women, including a Nun, have been raped and dishonoured, even burned alive by Indian citizens belonging to Bajrang Dal. Our homes are burned down more than 4,300 of them in Kandhamal district of Orissa. More than 50,000 of us have been driven out of our homes, and are living in forests, in India’s Concentration Camps. About 30,000 children face starvation, or worse. There is no protection for us even in the camps run by Orissa government. Water supply is cut off, the camps repeatedly attacked, even bombed. The police stand by and watch.
Churches and Prayers Halls, over 140 of them have been destroyed. Sacred objects are desecrated, vandalised. Nuns in prayers are attacked, beaten by policemen in Karnataka that violate the sanctity of the Covenant by entering without permission. The Blessed Sacrament-the most sacred object in our religion-is desecrated. A Nun, a consecrated Indian women is gang raped publicly in front of the police station.
The Christians are forced to convert to Hinduism in open and organised manner and those who refuse are chased out or assaulted and killed.
The Chief Ministers, particularly of Orissa, offer words but no action. In Orissa, the system of Governance is paralyzed. The legal system is in self imposed suspension. We are intimidated from filling First Information Reports [FIR] in the local police station. The districts authorities do not allow relief materials and personnel to come to our rescue. Our women and children, and ill, have no medical assistance. Some have died in these camps.
Taking into consideration that the Rule of Law is inoperative and ANARCHY is prevalent in the affected Districts of Orissa, and Karnataka, we the Christians of Delhi and NCR urge:
1. The President of India to take over the administration of Orissa and Karnataka.
2. To send in, para-drop if necessary, contingents of the Indian army into the Kandhamal district where the writ of the State no longer runs, followed by a total change in the incompetent, partisan, bigoted and tainted police and civil administration at the highest levels. Many of them must face criminal prosecution for complicity in heinous crimes, and for dereliction of duty.
3. To withdraw all restrictions imposed on entry of relief materials and personnel into the affected areas in Orissa.
4. To proscribe immediately all organisations and individuals carrying out or inciting communal violence, namely, the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
5. To order investigation by CBI not by State commissions, into the circumstances leading to the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad vice president Lakhmananda Saraswati and the organised violence which followed after the Yatra in which his body was taken along hundreds of kilometres in the district of Kandhamal.
6. Orders compensations without delay to the families of those killed in communal violence. Their houses must be rebuilt, their livelihood restored. Families that have lost in arson, documents like land deals, identification papers, ration cards, certificates, be offered State assistance by declaring such documents as valid when affidavits are given by the community or panchayat or gram sabha. Above all, these internally displaced people of Kandhamal must be restored their homes.
Evangelical Fellowship of India request you to write to the below mentioned addressed to express your concerns.
Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
Room No. 152,
New Delhi, 110001
(O) Tel : +91-11-23012312
(O) Fax: +91-11-23016857
Smt. Pratibha Patil
Hon'ble President of India
New Delhi, 110001
(O) Tel: +91-11-23017290
(O) Fax: +91-11-23017824
Email: [email protected]
Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
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