MEMORANDUM TO THE GOVERNOR OF ORISSA
At the culmination of the Protest and Prayer Rally of the Christians of Delhi and National Capital Region at Orissa Bhawan on 29th August 20008, and the closure of all Christian institutions in the country in solidarity with their brothers and sisters in the State
His Excellency Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare
The Governor of Orissa
In deep anguish and pain, We, the Christian Community of the Delhi and National Capital Region, submit this memorandum to you, and not to the Chief Minister of Orissa, because we believe that by not stopping the Ethnic Cleansing of Christians in Orissa in the last six days, he has abdicated his Constitutional duties to the Sangh Parivar and thereby has forfeited his right to be in Government.
We therefore approach you, as the Constitutional Head of the State of Orissa and protector of the rights of the State’s citizens irrespective of their religion, caste or ethnic status, to restore sanity, peace, and the Rule of Law in the State, protect the life, liberty and property of the Christian community, specially in Kandhamal and other affected districts.
As you know, in the last six days in the second wave of mass violence since Christmas 2007, almost a score of Christian men and women have been brutally killed in acts reminiscent of the massacre of the Sikhs in Delhi and other places in 1984, and of the Muslims in 1993 in Mumbai and 2002 in Gujarat.
Nuns have been raped, pastors, Priests, religious workers injured in their hundreds. Over forty churches have been destroyed, many for the second time, apart from once again hundreds upon hundreds of houses burnt in towns, villages and forest settlements. Christians have been chased and hunted like animals. In case your intelligence apparatus has not briefed you properly, we attach herewith an incomplete list of the murder and mayhem in Orissa, as we gather data from the victims and the kin of the dead.
There is no element of doubt as to who is the perpetrator of the violence. It is the Sangh Parivar, and its component elements, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal and the Vanvasi Kalyan Sangh, and especially groups connected with the ashrams of the late VHP Vice president Lakshmanananda Saraswati. VHP leaders, including Mr. Praveen Togadia have openly called for ethnic cleansing, and others have vowed not to rest from their bloody labours till they have rid Orissa of Christians.
The police have looked on for six months. They have often abetted in the violence and never intervened to save the hapless Christians and their institutions. Instead, the official machinery and the top policemen and bureaucrats have parroted the lies of the Hindutva Sangh Parivar and its narrow definition of religious nationalism to pin the blame of the acrimony on the Christians.
If the Chief minister and his government have forfeited their right to govern, the Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Director General of Police have lost their right to be in active service. It is a shame they continue to be in office, and speaks volumes for the conspiracy between the Government, the coalition partner Bharatiya Janata party and the State official apparatus against the Christian community and the Christian Faith.
The state apparatus has failed thrice – to protect the Christians in December 2007, to protect the late VHP leader and unravel the mystery of his murder, and then to once again protect the Christians facing annihilation in August 2008.
We therefore call upon you as Governor to:
1. Write to the President of India to impose President’s Rule in Orissa, and that you take over the reigns of Governance so that peace is restored in Kandhamal and other districts.
2. Immediately suspend not constables and junior officials, but the Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Director General of Police for gross dereliction of duty, and for joining the conspiracy to wipe out Christians in Orissa.
3. Hand over the Kandhamal district in particular to the Indian Army, which alone can restore the confidence of the victims.
4. Trace the many people reported abducted, some feared dead or injured, in the last six days
5. Bring back the tens of thousands of Christians Tribals and Dalit villagers hiding for their lives in the forests, most of them without food and adequate drinking water
6. Hand over all investigations relating to the circumstances and course of violence to the Central Bureau of Investigations. The CBI should also investigate the murder of VHP leader Lakshmanananda Saraswati.
7. Expand the terms of reference of the sitting Judicial Commission headed by Mr. Justice Basudeo Panigrahi to fix responsibility and culpability on government servants of all ranks, as also on guilty politicians.
8. Grant exemplary compensation to the next of kin of the dead, and to the injured. Grant immediate relief and rehabilitation to the victims so that they can rebuild their homes, get back their jobs and resume normal human lives.
9. Compensate the Church to rebuild and restore its religious, educations, and humanitarian institutions.
10. Set up Fast Track criminal court to try those found guilty at all levels during all phases of the violence.
This alone will prove to the world that India remains a secular country, which gives Constitutional guarantees of the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the freedom of faith to its citizens, and for its children, the right to food, education and a childhood without the trauma of terror and the fear of death,
God bless you, and God bless Orissa
The Christian Community pf Delhi and the National Capital Region
Together with our brothers and sisters from other states.