TODAY -

National Advocacy and Prayer Campaign for Government to enact Communal Violence Prevention Bill
- All India Christian Council -

New Delhi, December 12, 2011 *



All India Christian Council
Regd Office: 142, Telecom Colony, Kanajiguda, Old Alwal,
Secunderabad-15 [AP] India


The All India Christian Council [aicc], an apex Human Rights and Freedom of Faith forum, has urged the Government of India to urgently bring before Parliament and pass the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence (Access to Justice and Reparation) Bill 2011. The Bill, commonly called the CV Prevention Bill, was drafted earlier this year by the National Advisory Council and is now with the Union government. The Council is launching a nation-wide advocacy and prayer campaign in favour of the Bill. Prayer campaigns are also being launched by other Christian groups.

The Bill has been strongly supported by religious minorities as well as by most members of civil society as an effective means to curb communal violence which has plagued this country after Independence in 1947, and bring justice to the victims. In the last ten years there have been more than 6,000 incidents of communal violence, according to information provided by the government to Parliament.

Among the most heinous mass crimes against religious communities in India have been the anti Sikh violence of 1984 in New Delhi and other cities, the anti Muslim pogrom in Gujarat of 2002 and the anti Christian massacre and mass arson in Kandhamal in Orissa in which 56,000 persons were forced to flee to forests when over 5,600 houses in 400 villages were burnt down by Hindutva mobs. Over 100 persons were killed, Nuns and other women were raped and over 290 churches destroyed. In all cases, the police and officials stood by without acting. Many police and civil officers were guilty of involvement in all these acts of mass violence, and others were guilty of inaction and impunity. Kashmiri Pundits have also been subject of targeted violence.

Rehabilitation and resettlement in all cases has been tardy. The worst is the issue of justice. Most victims, including of murder, have been denied justice. In Kandhamal, for instance, not a single person has been convicted for murder.

The proposed Bill seeks to secure justice for victims and end the climate of impunity by bringing the guilty officials to book. The proposed law maintains that minorities are denied justice because of the communal behaviour of a section of religious and political extremists and the apathy or involvement of the administration.

The Bill will also curb hate speech and similar actions. In recent months, VHP leader Dr Praveen Togadia has called for the beheading of missionaries in issues of conversion. Janata party leader Subramaniam Swamy has launched a slander campaign against the Christian and Muslim communities in general, and against the aicc in particular.

The All India Christian Council also denounces conspiracies to scuttle the Bill. The government should take immediate steps and discuss the Bill with political parties to end the attempt of Hindutva groups to raise false alarms against the proposed law.

Dr John Dayal said Christian leaders in Mumbai had earlier filed a formal complaint demanding legal action against Dr Subramaniam Swamy for spreading hate and violating the Constitution when he wrote an article in a Mumbai newspaper advocating that Muslims should not be given voting rights. Complaints were also filed in New Delhi.

Holding that communalism is as evil as corruption, the All India Christian Council has repeatedly called for strong laws to curb hate campaigns and similar activity which leads to the targetting of minorities and marginalised communities, including Muslims, Christians, Dalits and Tribals.

PRAYER FOR COMMUNAL HARMONY AND AGAINST COMMUNAL VIOLENCE

(To be said throughout the country in all churches in India catholic, protestants evangelical)

Abba Father, we thank you for creating us in your image and likeness. We thank you that we are joined together as one Body of Christ. Keep us always united in your love. We remember all those dear brothers and sister who have suffered as victims of communal violence. We pray for physical healing and also for spiritual comfort. We pray for forgiveness for those who perpetrate such violence. We pray that your Holy Spirit may reveal to us that by violence we have marred those created in your image and likeness, and that they have worked against Your plans and purposes.

We also pray for those in leadership in our government who are called to protect the victims of violence and do justice. We pray that you would give them wisdom and understanding and a willingness to act on their behalf. We pray for law and policies to be formulated which will protect and rehabilitate these victims, we pray also for the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill and ask your intervention for its enactment.

We trust Your goodness and Your timing and trust that you would hear our prayer. Amen .


* This information was sent by All India Christian Council who can be contacted at aiccdelhi(at)gmail(dot)com
This Post is webcasted on December 13, 2011.

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