People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 06, 2008
CPI(M) Appeals For United Fight
Against Communal Forces
THE CPI(M) Orissa state committee has strongly condemned the Orissa state government for utterly failing to handle the communal situation in Khandhmal district. It decried the preventing of leaders of seven political parties i.e. CPI(M), CPI, Congress, NCP, SP, RJD and JMM from entering the district to take stock of the situation.
On December 29, leaders of seven political parties went to visit the communal affected areas of Kandhmal district, when they were prohibited by the district collector and SP of Boudha district. The RDC of south division of Orissa has directed the Boudha district SP and collector not to allow the secular opposition party leaders to enter the district as per decision of the state government.
Even after one week of the breaking out of communal riots, the state government has failed to curb the communal violence. The local police and administration failed utterly to check the communal violence, as the communal party, the BJP is a partner in the coalition government in Orissa. The state government lacks the political will to meet the situation, stated the CPI(M).
Kandhamal is one of the poorest district of Orissa. Most of the people are SC and ST (SCs comprise 16.89 per cent and STs 51.96 per cent). There is no big industry in Kandhamal district. Land is not irrigated. There is no canal irrigation, people are extremely poor. Most of the dalits have embraced Christianity. The VHP has made a poor dalit Christians their target.
On December 24, the Christians were attacked in a deliberate design by RSS and VHP goons while they were engaged in Christmas preparations. The attacks are continuing since then. More than 368 houses have been burnt. About 80 big and small churches are damaged, convent schools and hostels are attacked and destroyed, police stations are burnt.
The government has failed to check these attacks. Shockingly when communal VHP is on the rampage freely across the district, the administration is preventing the secular people and leaders from entering the district. The dalit Christians, fearing these attacks has fled into the forest. They have no winter cloths at a time when the weather is quite chilly. The people have lost everything.
The CPI(M) has organised demonstrations in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Roulkela, and Berhampur city condemning these communal attacks and it has blamed the state government.
A seven party delegation later met the governor of Orissa and explained the situation. Inspite of all tall claims of the state government about restoring normalcy, the attacks on the minorities are continuing. Their properties, houses, everything is being burnt down. There is no guarantee of life for the minorities of Kandhamal in Orissa.
The CPI(M) has appealed to all secular and peace loving people to unite and oppose the communal forces.