“The involvement of Father Alfonso Alien in the incident clearly suggests his role as an abettor for having contributed in not informing the matter to the local Police during and after the crime was committed,” the report saysCitizen for Justice Team presenting th report to Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram in Delhi
Citizen for Justice Team presenting th report to Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram in Delhi
A Fact Finding Team of ‘Citizens for Justice’, a Kolkata based NGO wedded to the cause of justice and fair play, visited Khunti for spot enquiry into the incident of alleged rape of five tribal girls and the physical indignity caused on them at Kochang village of Khunti District (Jharkhand) on June 19, 2018. The Team comprised of five members including Sri Ashok Sahu (retired IPS, Cuttack), Sri Sib Prasad Raju (retired D&SJ, Bhubaneswar), Smt Suman Chauhan (Advocate, Delhi HC, Delhi), Smt Ankita Chaudhary (Advocate, Supreme Court, Delhi) and Smt Debjani Ghosal (Advocate, Kolkata HC, Kolkata). The team visited Khunti in two phases from June 26 to 27 and from July 20 to 22, 2018 and interacted with the victims, the accused persons and the eyewitnesses.
In the Report, the Team said prima facie the alleged incident of abduction and rape is against the Human Rights and the punitive provisions of the law in the country. The persons involved in the crime and the organisations behind the commission and abatement of such crimes deserve the strictest punishment by the Judiciary. The involvement of Father Alfonso Alien in the incident clearly suggests his role as an abettor for having contributed in not informing the matter to the local Police during and after the crime was committed. He allowed the five tribal victims, who were not connected with the Church, to be taken by the accused persons, while he took all steps to protect two Sisters who were connected with the Church, not to accompany the accused rapists. There is sufficient evidence to suggest a nexus between the outlawed left-extremist organisations, illegal cultivation of Ganja and opium by villagers, the Christian Missionaries and Gram Pradhans of different Gram Sabhas.
The Team is pained to find that there has been a systematic effort to instigate the villagers against the Rule of Law, Governments established by the law, the Constitution of India and the Sovereignty. The forces engaged in activities jeopardising the unity, security and integrity of the nation are active in the region and segregating geographic areas as their safe haven are dominant and the security forces have failed to thwart their activities. The Team has also seen during spot visit that basic amenities are still objects of the dream for the tribal villagers even after 72 years of Independence. The Christian Missionaries are taking full advantage of the lack of facilities like primary health centre, properly run schools and basic needs like food, shelter and clothing. There is total lack of awareness among the rural tribal population with regard to their rights on the elected Governments including those at the Panchayat level.
The Team suggested the State government to take strict action against the alleged offenders and at the same time take measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents. The outlawed organisations and their frontal bodies are engaged to destabilise the country. The State Government, with close cooperation of the Union Government, should undertake development programmes for construction of rural roads, free education up to Higher Secondary level, creation of job opportunities for both men and women, primary health and housing schemes. The Team mainly made the following Suggestions:
• Spread of free education up to the Higher Secondary level should be ensured on priority to enlighten the villagers on their rights and duties.
• NGOs delinked from any religion as such but totally dedicated in the field of mass education may be encouraged to build and manage schools in the area with full financial backing by the Government.
• So far as medical amenities are concerned, besides working Government Hospitals, reputed NGOs may also be encouraged for mobile hospital, vaccination and supply of nutritious food.
• Timely monitoring through periodic survey and holding of seminars to encourage participative management among villagers has to be undertaken.
• Proper communication by building roads connecting the villages has to be undertaken by the Government. Construction of rural roads can be given to the Panchayats.
• Rural policing can be done by allowing volunteers for guarding the villagers accompanying regular Police constables.
• Job opportunities directly connected with forest products and its various commercial use can be encouraged by financing for Panchayat level Industries.
• Poultry farming, promotion of dairy farming, fisheries and cooperative farming and marketing, sericulture and weaving can be encouraged among educated villagers, which will go a long way in the empowerment of the rural population.
• While giving priority to the economic development of rural population, strict implementation of law & prevention of anti-national activities be geared up.
• The Jharkhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2017 has to be strictly implemented by the District Administration.
The team has already submitted the report to Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, Union Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Shri Narendra Singh Tomar and Chairperson of National Commission for Women Smt Rekha Sharma. The team is also going to hand in the report to Union Home Minister Shri Rajnath Singh and other key constitutional agencies like NHRC and Scheduled Tribe Commission.