Christians denied basic human rights in Bastar: Left leaders

New Delhi, August 3: Concept of "Hindu Rashtra" was "almost realised" in parts of Bastar even as Christians are being denied basic human rights there, a forum comprising Left leaders alleged today and sought monitoring of Constitutional rights in the district by a SC-appointed special commissioners' team.

The All India People's Forum also demanded setting up a separate team to monitor the conduct of the police and district administration in responding to communal campaigns against the minorities in the area.


"In certain villages and parts of Bastar, it is almost as if the Hindu Rashtra is already there in place because the Christian minority community is not allowed basic human rights.

"The PESA law which allows gram sabha to safeguard its own customs, is being misused to equate those customs with Hinduism and prohibit Christians from entering a village, from getting rations, so on," CPI(M-L) leader Kavita Krishnan said.

Krishnan, who was part of the eight-member fact-finding committee of the forum, made the remarks at the release of its report here. The team had paid visits to four districts of the state - Bastar, Dantewada, Sukma and Bijapur between June 8 and June 11.

Krishnan likened the situation at ground-level in these areas to that "of a war" and said the fact finding committee investigated a series of "fake encounters, fake surrenders and acts of sexual violence" during its visit.

The committee noted that some Hindutva forces are allegedly working in tandem with police and Bastar district administration to "isolate and create a state of siege" for Christians there.

"So, what we are demanding is that we need a team of special commissioners (Constitutional experts), under supervision of Supreme Court, to make sure sexual violence is not happening," she said.

On appointment of the separate team to monitor conduct of police and district administration, the Left leader said it should be vested with powers to initiate action for redress and criminal prosecution against any individual or outfits that seek to curtail the rights and liberties of Christian minorities in the region.

In its report, the forum urged national media to deploy its reporters and cameramen there to ensure "real stories" on situation there come out from the region concerned.

It also demanded National Commissions for Minorities, Women and Scheduled Tribes to post their teams in Bastar on a permanent basis. The event was addressed also by human rights activists John Dayal and Himanshu Kumar among others.


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