Orissa Killing


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The March of Hate ideology and Spate of Killings

On Sept. 2nd. Fr. Arul Doss was brutally attacked and killed in Jamabani village in Mayurbhanj Dist. Prior to this on 26 August 1999 Sheikh Rahaman, a cattle trader was hacked to death and burnt in the crowded bazar by Dara Singh, a Bajarang Dal activist. A few months ago the same Dara Singh killed Fr. Graham Stuart Stains, a leprosy worker, and his two sons Philip and Timothy (ages-9and 7 respectively), by torching them when they were sleeping in a jeep.

What is common between these crimes? These crimes have been committed under the leadership of Dara Singh and his ilk. These have been committed against those belonging to minority community. These crimes have been committed to ‘punish’ the victims for their activities which are hated by the ideology of Sangh Parivar (SP): in first and third case for the alleged conversion of ‘innocent tribals’ by force and inducement, and in the second case for the sale of cows for slaughter house. Also that these crimes were committed in a planned manner in which elaborate efforts must have gone in for their meticulous execution. Also these crimes have been marked by intense brutality in their execution.

Immediately in the aftermath of the burning of Fr. Stains, the Home Minister Mr. Advani went on to give the clean chit to Bajarang Dal to which Dara Singh, the culprit is affiliated. Mr. Advani went on to say that he knows Bajrang Dal very well and that there are no criminals in that organisation. At the same time Mr. Madanlal Khurana, another cabinet minister’s conscience overtook the better of his RSS imposed discipline and at the cost of loosing his ministership, he went on to say “ there is enough proof to show that Dara Singh was with the Bajarang Dal. I could not take it anymore after the torching incident in Orissa.”(Outlook 15th Feb.) Since the event was too ghastly to be ignored the Govt (BJP led coalition) first sent the Ministerial team to ‘investigate’ the event. In a ‘remarkably quick’ investigation carried out in less than 10 hours the team came to the ‘conclusion’ that this incident has occurred as a part of international conspiracy to destabilise the BJP led coalition. Also Govt. appointed a one man inquiry commission of sitting Judge Mr. D.P. Wadhava to investigate and submit the report within two months(This period was later extended to 3 months)

Mr. Wadhva ‘completed’ his investigation even without talking to the prime accuse Mr. Dara Singh, (who incidentally has been moving around, and giving interviews to the press etc, and also did resurface to commit a second crime), as he could not be apprehended by the state machinery. Mr. Wadhava in a rush job, opined that “Dara Singh is a fanatic and his clout, and no authority, organisation or any other person played any role in connection with the killings” Apparently since the brief of Justice Wadhava was planned to limit the investigation it did and could not answer many questions related to the crime. Is it possible that a person without any organisational backing can avoid the arrest and resurface again to repeat the similar crime? Is it a coincidence that the crimes perpetrated look so much an expression of the agenda of Sangh Parivar : Pahle Kasai Phir Isai (First The Muslims and then the Christians) though the order of execution has been shifting to and fro. Is it a coincidence that the victims of these crimes belong to the minority communities and were alleged to be engaged in activities, which are hated by the ideology of SP( conversion and cow slaughter).Immediately as the Wadhava Commision report was submitted, the Govt. was quick to project that as per the commission report there is no hand of Hindu Organisations in the murder of Fr. Stains. This response of the Govt. raised two major issues. One, whether the membership to these SP organisations can be decisively proved and even if proved can not the organisations turn around and say that the act has been the act of the individual and not of the organisation? And second whether the organisations whose propaganda creates the hate atmosphere leading to some of their follower to commit the crime can be held culpable for abetting the crime?

The question of organisational links is very nebulous when it comes to the membership of Sangh Parivar as they do not have the membership card system, the affiliations are more fluid. The other noteworthy point is that the allegiance to their ideology is more crucial factor than a ‘formal membership’. Still there are enough evidences that Dara Singh was not only a follower of SP ideology but had close organisational links with SP:-

a. From the report of Special Investigation Team headed by Padman Singh, set up by Justice Wadhawa “Dara Singh was an activist supporter of the Bajarang Dal. His police record revealed that in seven previous cases he was linked to Bajarang Dal and in four cases he was linked to BJP” (Outlook-July 5th 19990.)
b The CBI- Orrisa Police report came to similar conclusions “During his stay at Maliposi he (Dara Singh) attended RSS camps at Patna, Turumunga, Champua and Ghatagaon Police station areas of Mayurbhanj district” He also frequently visited Sisu Mandir Schools run by RSS of those areas. In this process he came in contact with the RSS leaders ..” (The Week, Sept 5th)
c.”...after his arrest (11 Nov.1997) the BJP’s MP from Keonjhar, Upendra Naik organised protest meeting near Patna demanding his release.Naik and other BJP leaders helped Dara get Bail on many occasions he was arrested.”(The Week, Sept.5th)
d. As per CBI officers “if Dara has not been caught yet it is because of the support he is getting fromlocal BJP, RSS and Bajarang Dal (The Week Sept 5th)
e. Revenue Divisional Commissioner of Sambhalpur concluded that” Dara Sigh was quiet clearly a ‘strong activist’ of the BJP and his supporters were most likely the supporters / activists of BJP/Bajarang Dal.” (Frontline, Sept.10th 1999)
f. National Minorities Commission opined that” Dara Singh’s campaign for cow protection was linked in its inspiration to Bajarang Dal activities in various other parts.”(Frontline, Sept.10th, 1999)
g. In the evidence given to the commission one Mr. Santosh Upadhayay said
“It was found that Dara Singh was a supporter of Bajarang Dal.”(Meantime Sept.1, 1999)
h. A letter from the Mayurbhanj Suprintendent of Police to the Special Inspector General Cuttock, sent on Nov.21, 1998, states clearly that he was an ‘active member ‘of the Bajarang Dal” (Meantime Sept. 1,1999)

The obvious conclusions, which flow from above, are very clear: Dara Singh is the follower of Hinutva politics with links to various Sangh Parivar Organisations. His committing these crimes has the backing of these organisations and these organisations are protecting him from being subjected to the law of the land.

The two essential points, which emerge from this, are that SP is percolating the ‘philosophy of hate’ which is the backdrop in which these ghastly crimes are being committed by the followers of this ideology. The SP ideology openly proclaims that Muslims, Christians and Communists are enemy of the Hindu Nation. It is around this that different issues are given religious veneer, which in turn prompt the people like Dara Singh and Godse to light the match or pull the trigger to finish off the ‘enemy’ of the Hindu Nation be it a Gandhi, Fr. Arul Doss, Fr. Stains and his children or be it a simple cattle trader, who happens to be a Muslim.

The anti -Christian tirades going on from last two years have been conducted on the false propagations that Christian Missionaries are out to convert the innocent tribals, that they are being supported by the Pope and the CIA, that Christianity is a foreign religion, that Christians are more loyal to ‘Christian’ countries etc. This has created the atmosphere where many a SP organisations have coined the slogans like Christi Bhago-Hindu Jago(Christians go away- Awake Hindus) or ‘Christians Quit India’. We have witnessed during last four decades as to how in a systemic manner differentv denominations of SP have created anti- Muslim’ atmosphere by propagating that Islam spread through sword, that Muslim Kings destroyed Hindu Temples, that Muslims are more loyal to Pakistan, and that the are polygamous and produce more children. It was this propagation which built up the anti-Muslim atmosphere in which anti-Muslim pogroms could be carried out.

Similarly at the time of partition an intense ‘hate Gandhi’ atmosphere was created by RSS propaganda which, formed the foundation standing on which Godse put three bullets in the breast of the Father of the Nation. Just to give a glimpse of the hate atmosphere created against Gandhi it will be worth its while to give a small quote from Sardar Patel’s letter to Mr. Golwalkar, the second supremo of RSS. Mr. Patel wrote “All their(RSS leaders’, added) speeches were full of communal poison. It was not necessary to spread poison and enthuse the Hindus and organise them for their protection. As a final result of the poison, the country had to suffer the sacrifice of the valuable life of Gandhiji. Even an iota of sympathy of the Government or of the people no more remained for the RSS. In fact the opposition grew. Opposition turned more severe, when the RSS men expressed joy and distributed sweets after Gandhiji’s death. Under these conditions it became inevitable for the Government to take action against the RSS.” (written on September 11, 1948. The letter is quoted in full in Desraj Goel’s book Rahstriya Swayamsevak Sangh). The current hate atmosphere is directed against the Christians and Muslims and these murders are taking place in this backdrop. They are a continuum of the communal riots directed against Muslims for last four decades or so and the murder of Mahatma Gandhi.

 Here it is important to note that since the time of Gandhi murder the further proliferation of RSS into SP has ensured a ‘division of labour’ because of which the Khakhi clad volunteer does not have to wield the lathi against the ‘enemies of Hindu Nation’. Through various conveyor belts the SP hate ideology is transformed into propaganda and later catchy slogans which are picked up by the trishul (trident) wielding Bajarang Dali’s and the other paople mobilised by their hate ideology, who than take it upon themselves to execute the agenda of SP politics and soil their hands with the blood of ‘enemies of the Hindu Nation’. The ‘clever’ organisation of SP ensures that these ‘dedicated soldiers ‘ of SP can later be disowned by the RSS or SP to protect themselves from the punishments due in the constitutional process as they are ‘disowned’. This disowning in turn is possible, as there is no proper record keeping of the membership of these organisations. As brother of Nathuram Godse, the killer of the Father of Nation Mahatma Gandhi, Gopal Godse said “Technically and theoretically he (Nathuram Godse) was a member (of RSS), His statement in the court that he left RSS was to protect the RSS workers who would be imprisoned following the murder (of Gandhi)”(Times of India 25th Jan 1980).

Apart from nabbing the culprits it is equally or more important to counter the ‘hate ideolgy’ which is demonising our minorities. It is equally important to culturally, ideologically and politically oppose these ‘communal venom spreading’ outfits and to strengthen the liberal, tolerant ethos in the society.  
(P.R.Ram is an Independent writer and member of EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity)

Christian priest lynched in Orissa village

BHUBANESWAR: In yet another gruesome incident similar to the Staines' murder case, irate tribals, armed with bows and arrows, attacked and killed a Roman Catholic priest in the inaccessible Jambani village under Mahuldiha police station in Orissa's Mayurbhanj district in the early hours of Thursday.

A church, set up in the village about 3 years back, was also set ablaze by the gang of 15 persons.

The victim has been identified as Arul Doss, priest of a church near Anandpur in Keonjhar district. The incident occurred around 2 a.m. when a dance programme was going on in the village, which was reportedly organised on the occasion of a congregation of converted Christians there.

The congregation, organised by the local church, was attended by Mr Doss who had reached the place earlier in the day. This was, however, opposed by non-Christians in the village, which possibly led to the violence, preliminary official reports reaching here said.

One person injured in the attack has since been admitted to the nearby Kaptipada hospital, the report added.

There are about 20 Christian families in the village, which is located in a thick jungle area, about 15 km from Mahuldiha police station, the report said.

Home secretary Ajit Tripathy, when contacted, maintained that the details of the incident and the circumstances leading to the violence were being collected. The village is not connected by any motorable road.

He said the incident was first reported to the police by the chowkidar (village guard) of the village. The home secretary could not say whether or not Dara Singh, who was involved in the Staines' murder on January 22 and the murder of a Muslim trader, Sheikh Rehman, on August 26 at the nearby Padiabeda village, was involved in this incident. Like the previous two incidents, the latest killing occurred on the day of a Hindu festival, Janmasthami. The Staines killing had occurred on the day of Saraswati Puja, while Rehman was hacked to death on Raksha Bandhan day.

Inspector general of police Amarandan Patnaik, deputy inspector general, district superintendent of police and other senior officials have rushed to the spot. No arrests have been made so far.

In New Delhi, Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee strongly condemned the killing of the Christian priest and asked the state government to ``show its efficiency'' by arresting the culprits.

``I strongly condemn the dastardly killing of the Christian priest and especially urge the government of Orissa to show its efficiency and capability in quickly arresting the culprits in this and previous such crimes,'' the Prime Minister's statement said.

Mr Vajpayee said the perpetrators of this heinous crime, irrespective of their affiliation, must be immediately nabbed and brought to book.

``It is extremely distressing that such murderous attacks on representatives of a minority community should be taking place unchecked and with alarming regularity in Orissa,'' he said, while expressing his condolences to the family of the priest.

``Rather than making political capital out of such incidents on the eve of elections, all political parties and social organisations should join together in preventing them,'' Mr Vajpayee said.

Ironically, the incident occurred barely a few hours after the ruling Congress and several other political parties had observed a state- wide bandh to protest against the continuing attacks on minorities. The call for the bandh was given by the Janata Dal (secular) and Left parties.

The Janata Dal (United) strongly condemned the killing and blamed the state government for its ``total failure'' to protect the minorities. Party spokesman Mohan Prakash said the state government had repeatedly failed in apprehending the culprits and bringing them to book.

He said the repeated failures of the Congress government did not auger well for the people of Orissa and it was time for them to teach the government a lesson.


On Dialogue
Wadhwa Commission
The evil in our midst
Truth Behind Forcible Conversions
Alternate accent
Bjp View
Without Conversion
Right to preach
Cast, not cash
NCM report
Towards Hindu Nation
Orissa Killing
Dhara Singh
RSS media on Christians
Index of Attacks

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Last updated: February 23, 2000 .