New Delhi: Civil Society and Human Rights Organisations across India observed 25th of August as Kandhamal Solidarity Day. Various programs was orgnaised by different groups in cities like Delhi, Bhubaneswar, Mumbai, Bangalore and Trivandrum marking 6th anniversary of anti-Christian communal violence of 2008.
Six years ago, on 25th of August, Kandhamal district of Odisha was dazed by anti-Christian communal violence which displaced more than 56, 000 people, destroyed over 300 churches and 6,500 houses. The victims and their families still await justice for the violence-both visible and invisible, that they suffered.
In Bhubaneswar, “Citizens Conventions for Peace Justice and Communal Harmony” (Kandhamal Harmony Day) organised by National Solidarity Forum (NSF) in collaboration with Odisha Forum for Social Action, Civil Society Forum on Human Rights – CSFHR, IPTA, People’s Solidarity Concerns and NAWO at IDCOL Auditorium.
In Bangalore and Trivandrum, protest meetings were held at Town Hall and in front of Secretariat respectively. In Mumbai a Panel Discussion was organized at Press Club, Azad Maidan, CST. In Delhi, a meeting cum cultural event was organised at Jantar Mantar, demanding justice for the victims of Kandhamal and other communal violence.
The Delhi rally endorsed the demands of the survivors of the Kandhamal violence. These demands are:
1. Immediate release of all victims facing fabricated charges including the use of draconian law UAPA.
2. Appropriate legal action against all culprits who have been responsible for violence in Kandhamal.
3. Protection of faith, culture, language, values and religions of Adivasis and Dalits of Kandhamal.
4. Stern action against politicians and organisations directly or indirectly involved in the violence or facilitated the communal violence.
5. A high level SIT to be instituted to enquire into the roles of the administration and the police machinery and necessary actions to be initiated against the omissions and commissions of the police and the administration.
6. Proper compensation to all affected people as well as institutions in Kandhamal.