Headmaster gets life term for Kandhamal violence *TN Budget: Nothing much for Minorities

Orissa, March 27, 2012: An Odisha (formerly Orissa) court has sentenced a school headmaster to life imprisonment for murdering a cook during the 2008 anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal district of the state.

Additional Sessions Judge Sobhan Kumar Das of a fast-track court in Phulbani in the district on March 24 also sentenced Kartik Parmanika for 5 more years for burning the deceased’s house and arson.

He was also slapped a fine of 5,000 rupees (US$100).

This verdict comes against the backdrop of UN Special Rapporteur’s visit to India to prepare a report on extrajudicial or summary killings.

Paramanika, a headmaster of a primary government school, led a mob of fanatics on August 25, 2008 in Petapanga village in the district, the epicenter of the 2008 anti-Christian violence that killed more than 100 community members and left thousands homeless.

He killed Ramesh Digal, a Christian while he was fleeing with his family after his house was set on fire.

The deceased used to work in Paramanika’s school as a cook.

Digal’s brother had lodged a complaint against 45 people for their involvement in the murder but police charge sheeted only 36, said Manas Ranjan Singh, an advocate affiliated to Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) who is handling the case told ucanews.com.

He said there are still 34 people awaiting trial. Another accused Abhinav Pradhan has been convicted for house burning and arson in the case.

It may be noted that trial in the case is taking place in a phased manner as most of the accused are absconding.

“This is first time a person from outside Kandhamal district and an upper caste person has been convicted for murder in the anti-Christian violence,” Singh added.

He said that this verdict gives hope for those awaiting justice in other 30 cases.

Fr. Dibyasingh Parichha, head of the legal cell of Catholic Church in Kandhamal said, “We do appreciate the efforts of HRLN for securing life sentence for the accused. This is a heinous act as the murderer and victim worked in the same school.”

– ucan

TN Budget: Nothing much for minorities, say Muslim groups


Prof. M.H. Jawahirullah, MLA, and president of Manidha neya Makkal Katchi (MMK)

Tamil Nadu, March 28, 2012: It was the first full budget by the Jayalalitha government after she became chief minister in May 2011 after defeating DMK of Karunanidhi. She had returned to power with clear majority as Muslims too had voted her in huge numbers. However, there is no big announcement for the welfare of the community in the state budget 2012-13 presented on Monday, say Muslim organizations.

State Finance Minister Mr O. Panneerselvam presented the budget which talks high about Chief Minister Jayalalithaa’s ambitious vision 2023. The budget promised to turn the state into India’s most prosperous and progressive state and therefore the government fixed a target of Rs 2 lakh crores for plan schemes during the Twelfth Five Year Plan period. Annual plan for 2012-2013 has been increased to Rs.28,000 crores as against the Annual Plan size of Rs.23,535 crores in 2011-2012. The year 2012-2013 is the first year of the Twelfth Plan.

While the Scheduled Castes will get a sub-plan of Rs 6108 Cr and Tribal communities a sub-plan of Rs 349 Cr the minorities which include Muslims will get just Rs 57 Cr in the year 2012-13.

For the welfare of minorities, the Jayalalitha government will continue the scholarship schemes for which the funds will be increased to Rs 55 crores from the Rs 39 crores in the year 2011-12. Besides, a sum of Rs.1 crore has been provided as assistance to the Ulema Welfare Board in the Budget for 2012-2013. Similarly, as was done this year, a sum of Rs.1 crore will be provided during 2012-2013 for assisting Christians to undertake pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Budget has nothing concrete for Muslims, say Muslim groups

Prof. M.H. Jawahirullah, MLA, and president of Manidha neya Makkal Katchi (MMK) which had contested the 2011 assembly poll in alliance with AIADMK of Jayalalitha, said he is not satisfied with the announcements for minorities.

“I am not satisfied. There is no big announcement for Muslims. There is just marginal increase in fund for minority scholarship,” says Jawahirullah who is also president of Tamil Muslim Munnetra Kazagham (TMMK).

He criticized the government for not taking any step to hike minority quota which she had promised during the election campaign last year.

“We have been demanding increase in minority quota from current 3.5% to 5%. She had also promised hike during the election campaign, but she has not taken any step in this regard, said Jawahirullah while talking to TCN over phone.

He points out two other issues on which Jayalalitha has maintained silence. Minority schools set up after 1991 have not got govt grants, the government is silent on it. DMK had brought change in education policy affecting Urdu and Arabic. After much pressure the DMK government made some changes and brought Urdu and Arabic for exam for kept out of grade system. We have been demanding that students of these languages should be given chance. These papers should be included not only in exam but also marks should be added in the grade. But the new government has not touched the issue.

Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has not welcomed the budget. The party in a statement said the budget has disappointed all weaker sections including Muslims.

“The budget did not include any concrete plans for the advancement of Muslims,” said SDPI adding that the budget has over all disappointed all be it farmers, businesspeople or Muslims.

What is for backward communities in TN Budget?


The minorities will get a total of Rs 57 crores, out of which Rs 55 crores will be for scholarship schemes. Last year the annual grant for Haj Committee was increased to Rs 20 lakh. The increase will continue this year.

Scholarships – Rs 55 Cr
Haj Committee – Rs 20 lakh
Ulema Welfare Board – Rs 1 Cr
Christians’ pilgrimage to Jerusalem – Rs 1 Cr

Adi Dravidar (Scheduled Castes) and Tribal communities

For the first time in the history of Tamil Nadu, the Scheduled Castes will get around 22% of the annual plan funds. “Our Government gives special priority to the welfare of the Adi-Dravidar and Tribal communities. This Government’s commitment to their welfare is evident from the fact that the allocation under the Scheduled Caste Sub-Plan for 2012-2013 will be increased to an all time high amount of Rs.6,108.60 crores, constituting 21.82% of the Annual Plan outlay,” said the finance minister in his budget speech on 26th March 2012.

Scheduled Caste sub-plan – Rs 6108 Cr
Food for hostel students – Rs 76 Cr
Pre- & Post-matric scholarships – Rs 331 Cr
Facilities in hostels – Rs 83 Cr
TAHDCO – Rs 13 Cr
Economic Development – Rs 82 Cr
Tribal sub-plan – Rs 349 Cr
Tribal welfare – Rs 50 Cr

Backward Classes, Most Backward Classes & Denotified Communities

These communities will get Rs 325 crores, the major chunk of which will be spent on pre- and post-matric scholarship schemes. Besides, Rs 115 crores have been allocated for construction of hostels for the students of these communities.

Food for hostel students – Rs 61 Cr
Construction of Hostels – 115 Cr
Pre- & Post-matric scholarship – 149 Cr

– tcn

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