Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Kandhamal observes bandh protesting attack on Hindu leader

Demand for ban on cow slaughter, forced conversion by Christians
By Debasis Tripathy in Bhubaneswar

While the mayhem of December 24, 2007 occurred in Kandhamal district of Orissa in which Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati was attacked, injured severely, 10 Hindu temples were destroyed and about 150 houses of Hindus were burnt down by Christian hooligans, is still alive in the minds of the people, the Christian missionaries have again tried to fuel the fire by intentionally and illegally slaughtering a cow on July 8.

One Hindu has been hospitalised after being brutally injured by Christian goons for his protest against cow slaughter. Not even a single accused has been arrested yet, confirms the Superintendent of Police, Kandhamal. Some packets of condoms, wine bottles and fresh beef have been allegedly seized from the local Pastor’s house.

According to eyewitnesses, some Christian goons of the area, closely associated with the Baptist Church of Tumudibandha, were illegally slaughtering a cow on a road in broad daylight in the village Malipada under Tumudibandha police station. The village is Christian dominated where more than 80 per cent villagers are converted Pana Christians. Illegal slaughter of cattle is a common activity of converted Christians of this area, which has been opposed by the native Kandha Hindus for long. Specifically after the incident of December 24, 2007, the Christians have increased illegal cow slaughter on an alarming rate.

On July 8, a Hindu villager, namely Madhu, was passing through the village about 1.30 pm when he saw the incident of cow slaughter. When he opposed it, the Christian hooligans attacked him with sword, katari, farsa and injured him severely on his head, neck, chest and on other parts of the body and snatched away a sum of rupees ten thousand and a cell phone from him. He sustained about 5 grievous injuries, confirms the Public Health Centre of Tumudibandha, where he has been admitted. The Christian hooligans also allegedly attacked Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, but Swamiji luckily escaped unhurt.

Police inaction suspected

In this incident, the role of police is highly suspected. The incident occurred at about 1.30 pm. When the local Hindus went to lodge a complaint in Tumudibandha police station along with Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, the officers present in the police station did not receive their written complaint. They allegedly expressed their inability to help the villagers and also instructed them to return back.

Against this police inaction Swami Laxmanananda says, “I was also attacked by the Christian goons. My bodyguard (PSO) was not with me then. However I escaped by luck. Then we went to the local police station to lodge a complaint but they refused to accept the same. Police know it well about the ongoing illegal massive cattle slaughter in this district. The Christians are deliberately killing cows and bullocks under the very nose of the administration which is destroying the organic farming in this district. The gradual alarming decrease of cattle wealth in Kandhamal is mainly due to poaching, slaughter and illegal cattle trade by the Christians. I am fighting for organic farming since last 20 years. Several times we have informed the police to stop the illegal slaughter of cows by Christians but they are not paying any heed towards it. In most of the places, the police are cooperating with the Christians which worsen the situation. Though we have made specific allegations against the accused persons in connection with this incident, not a single person has been arrested yet. I afraid of police administration’s possible connection with the church.”

When contacted, Superintendent of Police of Kandhamal district denied the alleged connection of the police with Christians. But he could not explain how and why the police have failed to arrest the accused persons, though the specific allegations have been made against them. He also failed to give any satisfactory answer regarding why the police could not reach the spot in time, failed to nab the criminals and to seize the beef and carcasses. Surprisingly he also denied any attack on Swami Laxmanananda, while Swamiji himself made a complaint of attack on him. The SP even could not give any satisfactory answer that why the police are not able to check the increasing cow slaughter in the district even after repeated demands from Hindus. “We have received a complaint from some Hindus regarding a cow slaughter in Malipada village. We are looking into the matter. One person is reportedly injured. We have not arrested anybody yet nor we have seized any beef, etc. The accused persons are absconding, we are searching for them,” said the SP Shri Nikhil Kanodia.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has reacted vehemently against this incident. Prant Prachar Pramukh Shri Simanchal Khatua, told Organiser that the incident was ‘inevitable’ as the instances of cow slaughter and illegal cattle trade were alarmingly increasing in Kandhamal district, which were very much known to the police and administration. Swamiji has been working for the protection of cattle for long for which he is on the target of Christian missionaries. Everyday hundreds of cattle are being killed in Kandhamal by Christians, even inside churches. Churches are the safe hiding places for the criminals and Maoists in Kandhamal district. The Orissa Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act is not being implemented anywhere to check cow slaughter,” he said.

An eyewitness namely Madhab and his other friends who seized the alleged beef from the Tumudibandha church, say they have also found 25 wine bottles, 7 packets of unused condom and about 15 kg. fresh beef from the premises of the Pastor’s house near Tumudibandha High School. “We informed the police and handed over 25 wine bottles, 7 packets of unused condoms and beef to the policemen. The SP himself received the beef from us. Our complaint has not been registered so far. Instead of arresting the culprits the police are providing security to the church and the pastor. Not only me but also hundreds of villagers have seen the sized condoms, wine bottles and beef,” said Madhab and Susanta Kanhar. On the other hand the police say they know nothing regarding the seized articles.

Protesting against the incident, a joint call for bandh was given by RSS, VHP and Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram in Kandhamal. The bandh was quite successful and the public life came to a standstill for 12 hours all over the district. In many places people spontaneously observed bandh for whole day.

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