Christian council demands hearing of Kandhmal victims

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Bhubaneswar, Jun 14 (UNI) All India Christian Council (AICC) today demanded that the one-man commission probing the communal violence at Kandhmal should hear the victims first at their villages.

AICC patron Archbishop Raphael Cheenath in a statement here urged Justice Basudeb Panigrahi, heading the one man commission, to direct the civil and district administration to ensure and provide adequate security to the victims at their villages so that they have the confidence to approach the criminal justice along with their grievances.

The Archbishop said the statement of the government and the rival contention should be recorded only after the hearing of the victims of the violence held on the eve of Christmas last year.

The Council has demanded that the deadline for filing of affidavit before the commission be extended till July 31 to enable the victims more times to file the affidavits before the commission.

Mr Cheenath said the christian council also wanted to expand the term of reference of the one-man commission to include the issue of criminal neglect and ineptitude by the district administration in the matters of relief and rehabilitation.

He claimed that even after six months of the violence, the christians in the affected blocks were without any gainful employment and demanded that state government must investigate as to why the employment was not being given to the villagers under the NREGA and Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.

The Archbishop said the council has decided to move the Supreme court and Orissa high court to provide adequate rehabilitation assistant to compensate the loss of livelihood and economic boycott of the christians who were self-employed after the communal violence.

UNI DP PC AB 1932

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