Kandhamal: 3 Catholic & 2 Protestant Minors Gang Raped? CBCI President presented report

February 4, 2013 by  
Filed under newsletter-india, Orissa, Persecution

Joseph Dias with cardinal oswald graciasOrissa, February 01, 2013: The CSF presented the below report to Cardinal Oswald Gracias, requesting his intervention in the case of 5 minors who were gang-raped and one murdered. All were Christian Dalits and while we talk of others treated so badly, are we concerned about our own ?

It is shameful that heinous crimes including gang rapes and murder of young Dalit girls in Kandhamal is excluded from the discourse on rape in our country, says Asha Kowtal, All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch. A fact-finding team comprising The National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights with allied organizations like NAWO, Odisha Forum for Social Action and others visited five villages ( Tiangia, Simanbadi, Daringbadi, Badagaon, Sarangoda and Tikabali ) in Kandhamal district. In each village, the team has met the rape survivor, the family, community members and the investigating police officers at the police station. Finally, the fact-finding team has met the District Collector in Kandhamal and shared the findings and recommendations.

The members of the team express their shock and anguish over the gruesome cases of rape and murder of Dalit Christian girls in the recent months at Kandhamal and at the same time are angered with the fact that these cases never figure in the recent discussions on sexual violence and rape in India. Dalit girls living in remote tribal areas of India with little access to livelihood and life are battered brutally and killed, and yet this is not enough for the Orissa Government to hang its head in shame.

In Kandhamal, if at all given, a rape case is given Rs. 5000 and rape and murder is given Rs. 10,000 as compensation. The discussion with the District Collector in Kandhamal has revealed that the district administration has no money for rehabilitation of rape survivors and their families. He said, “I have no money for the compensation and rehabilitation of minority (Dalit Christian) girl survivors of rape.”

Delays in investigation, serious lapse in role of police, zero support from district administration and total break down of statutory bodies is clearly visible in every case that has been investigated. The entire child protection system, including CWC, JJB, Child line has not played any role in support of the victims, as well as against the minor accused in the cases that we have investigated, says Manju Prabha, NAWO

Criminals should be punishedThe Chief Minister of Orissa claims to have stayed away from New Year celebrations, in solidarity with the recent victim of rape in Delhi, but we wonder what he has done in response to these five inhuman acts of sexual violence on young Dalit girls in Kandhamal? says Namrata Daniel, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights. The families of the rape victims live in abject poverty conditions, without access to basic entitlements. Absence of job cards, access to PDS and other flag- ship programmes was clearly visible in all cases.

Key observations of the fact-finding team include that all the 5 acts of sexual violence were intentional and pre-planned to victimize the girl by raping and even murder. The SC/ST PoA has not been invoked in Tikabali case and hence the accused have been roaming scot-free for more than 5 months. No compensation, no protection and no justice for this young girl who was raped and almost lost her life because the accused slit her neck with sharp knives. Severe gaps in investigation were observed particularly allegations relating to the police forcing the victims to change the statements. Filing of false / counter cases on family members of victims has been observed.

After the rape and murder of young girls, Siblings of victim’s family and other girls in the villages have dropped out from school in fear. In one case Rs. 10,000 was given in case of gang rape and murder and Rs. 5000 for rape was given. Even Human Rights Commissions and other statutory bodies have failed completely in addressing the life security and protection of dalit girls and women in Orissa. No committee working in the district such as Women and child development committee and District Vigilance and Monitoring Committee (DVMC) under SC/ST (PoA) Act 1989, etc.

– The fact-finding team was co-ordinated by Fr. Ajaya Singh and a copy of the full report can be obtained by emailing us at csfpost@gmail.com

Most Foul : Pastors and Church Activists  Reportedly Murdered

Orissa takes the lead in not only the Christian activists being murdered but even worse, pastors and church workers being killed. Long after the Kandhamal riots, at least 6 Christians are reported to be killed for their faith. On February 1st, 2012, a Christian activist, Rabindra Kumar Parichha, was killed in Orissa following threats by Hindu radicals. There after it was reported another pastor Jayasen (Renewal Ministries Fellowship) was also murdered. Church workers Suryakant Nayak, an Anglican from Bakingia village (Kandhamal), and Goresa Mallick, a Catholic from Salimagocha village (Ganjam), were also murdered on 6 and 3 March 2012 respectively. On May 2, 2012 family members were informed that Pastor Nirakant Pradhan had expired in prison.

Among the other states, Pastor C. Wilson, 54, was murdered in Tamil Nadu and according to police on 2 June 2012, his body was found on the highway and his skull fractured with stones. In Andhra Pradesh, a evangelist S Dumbu, also known locally as Bingo, was killed around 3 April 2012 in Jerrela village after masked men knocked at the door of his home.

– csf

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