Delhi Catholic NGO sore with Congress selection of candidates *Orissa: Unfulfilled deals behind abductions

March 29, 2012 by  
Filed under Church, India, New Delhi, newsletter-india, Orissa

Sheila DixitNew Delhi, March 29, 2012: Being the official laity organization of the Catholic Church in Delhi, the Federation of Catholic Associations of Archdiocese of Delhi  (FCAAD) decided its prayerful manpower support to the Congress Party for the coming three municipal corporation elections in Delhi state and proposed two eminent Congress Party workers / leaders for considering their names for the said election as candidates. We specifically requested that the selection of candidate should be on merit basis with a focus to the congress workers, those who are having grass root work experience with secular mind setup.

However, the said request of FCAAD for genuine candidate for the Delhi Municipal Corporation elections were rejected by the Congress Party without any justification and reasons. Therefore, FCAAD has appealed to Catholics and citizens of Delhi to cast their valuable votes for the best candidate beyond their regular political affiliation. They have urged that the candidate’s track record and those who have good work experience for the respective constituency be considered for a better Delhi. The FCAAD council also unanimously decided to revoke the earlier decision for its prayerful manpower support to the Congress party for the coming three municipal corporation seats in the state.

Orissa: Unfulfilled deals behind abductions


Orissa, March 28, 2012: Some members of opposition parties accuse the Biju Janata Dal government of having reached a secret pact with Maoists before last year’s state elections. Yesterday, the uncle of a witness in a 2008 anti-Christian pogrom trial was abducted. A local judge does not intervene. Only the action of the Global Council of Indian Christians obtains his release.

Negotiations between the Orissa government and Maoist rebels are at a standstill because of unfulfilled promises. Some members of opposition party accuse the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) of a secret deal with the rebels in exchange for votes in the last elections. When the state government failed to keep its part of the deal, Maoists abducted Jhina Hikaka, the BJD MLA for the Koraput District. For their part, mediators from both sides want Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to give indications as to which of the 13 rebel demands he is willing to meet in order to get the release of the abducted lawmaker and Italian tourist Paolo Bosusco.

Hikaka was kidnapped last Saturday by the Andhra Odisha Border Special Zone Committee (AOBSZC), a rival Maoist group to the Odisha State Organising Committee (OSOC), which abducted Paolo Bosusco and Claudio Colangelo in Kandhamal District on 14 March. Colangelo was released on Sunday. In exchange for their electoral support, the BJD government was supposed to release three jailed Maoist leaders and put an end to Green Hunt, an anti-Maoist operation.

“Ties between the BJD and the Maoists are not a secret,” said Ashok Sahoo, vice president of the Orissa branch of the Hindu ultranationalist Bharatiya Janata party (BJP).

“This speaks volumes of the government’s sincerity to tackle the Maoist menace in the state,” said Prasad Harichandan, a senior Congress leader.

According to other members of the opposition, Patnaik also knew about the secret deal.

In the meantime, more people are being abducted in the state and the government is not saying much about it. This is the case of Saira Nayak, who was briefly held yesterday by a group of kidnappers.

His nephew, Keshab Nayak, is a key witness in a trial involving a former village council head, Susant Pradhan, and 27 other council members who were charged with torching a house in Mahaguda village during the 2008 anti-Christian pogroms in Kandhamal.

Yesterday morning, Keshab Nayak and four other people gave evidence in court. After they finished, the accused threatened to kill the witnesses and make their relatives suffer if they did not retract the accusations. Sometime later, at 3 pm (local time), Saira Nayak was kidnapped.

His relatives turned to a local judge for help, but all they got was advice to wait. Only when the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) and its lawyers intervened did police act, eventually securing the kidnap victim’s release.

However, whilst Saira Nayak’s abductors are still free, his nephew Keshab has decided to retract his testimony.

This has pushed GCIC president Sajan George to appeal to Orissa’s Justice Minister. “Please,” he urged, “protect those who can testify in the Kandhamal pogrom cases”.

– asianews

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