Ensure communal harmony, appeals Justice Panigrahi

By Pervez Bari, TwoCircles.net,

Bhopal: Concluding the first phase of hearing of the Kandhamal Commission of Enquiry proceedings at Phulbani in Orissa on 18th July 2008, Justice (Retd.) Basudev Panigrahi called upon the lawyers for the government, the victims and the ethnic and religious groups to ensure peace and communal harmony amongst people of the district.

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The Kandhamal Commission was constituted by the Government of Orissa to inquire into the facts and circumstances leading to the communal violence in the month of December 2007 in the district and recommend remedial and preventive measures.

Senior Counsel Mr. S. H. Iyer appearing on behalf of the Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar and the riot victims from the Christian community welcomed and immediately responded to the appeal made by Justice Panigrahi. He said he was communicating the Commission’s message to the members of the Christian community and ensure that the peace and brotherhood prevails in the region, a Press release issued by Fr. Mritunjay said.

“While I am appearing for the victims of riots who happen to be the Christians, it would be my endeavor to see that justice is done to all the riot victims irrespective of their religion. We, all the advocates appearing for the riot victims of different religions and the learned counsel for the State of Orissa, being the officers of the Enquiry Commission, let us not look at the religion to which the victims belong to but let us look at them as the victims of violence and direct all our efforts to deliver justice to all the victims irrespective of their religion” said Mr. Iyer while concluding his address to the Commission.

The advocates assured the Commission to extend full cooperation for the early completion of the enquiry proceedings by the commission. The advocates were of the unanimous opinion that there was an urgent need to strengthen the police force with all infrastructural facilities for the protection of life and property of the citizens. The tribals who have been denied their legitimate rights of collection of stones from forests, must get their due and legitimate rights irrespective of their religion, the advocates felt. ([email protected])