Indian Catholic News

Kandhamal victims meet UN representative

The members briefed the UN official about how their relatives were killed by Hindu fundamentalists.

By Ajay Kumar Singh
New Delhi: 

A seven-member delegation from Orissa yesterday met a special rapporteur of the United Nations (UN) and apprised him of the injustices meted out to them during the 2008 anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal district.

The members briefed Christof Heyns, special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, about how their relatives were killed by Hindu fundamentalists and the police administration did not do anything to prevent such attacks.

It was led by S.D.J.M Prasad, general secretary of National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights.

“We have come to New Delhi to inform the highest body in the world to help us to get justice,” said Kanakrekha Nayak, who lost her husband in the violence.

Another victim Umesh Nayak of Gadaguda village told the official that he had informed police about the imminent attack but they did not act and his father was killed and mother left bedridden by fanatics.

“There is no proper enquiry into my father’s murder case,” he said.

Christodas Nayak, who hails from the same village and lost his wife in the violence, said, “I had lodged a complaint of murder against 50 people but only two were convicted of culpable homicide not amounting to murder and are free on bail.”

Heyns, who arrived in New Delhi on March 17, is expected to prepare a report on extrajudicial killings in India and will submit it to the office of Human Right Commissioner, Geneva.

“We are very much concerned and sympathize with you. We would try to elevate your concerns and issues,” Heyns, who is mandated to oversee extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions both by state as well as private groups, said.

Prasad said the meeting was very significant as this was for the first time the federal government allowed a UN official on a country mission.

“The UN representative gave considerable time to the victims. I am sure he would take up the matter with the federal government,” he said.

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