LRPF has approached the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and District Collector of Kadapa for action against Church authorities for crime committed against the families of marginalized communities.
Church Pastors went ahead with the construction despite protests from the SC families who were staying there
Several Schedule Caste families have been staying on the outskirts of the Dorasanipalli Village in Proddutur Mandal of Kadapa District in Andhra Pradesh for nearly 15 years. These families belong to Budaga Jangala Community and lived in small tents along with women, children and aged persons. Their tents are located in unused Poramboke land. They are a semi-nomadic community who make a living by mat weaving, soothe saying, selling items and seeking alms. They go around different villages in search of livelihood and come back to their huts after few days.
However, recently the construction of a Church was initiated by two Pastors named Krupakar and Ashok in the vicinity of their tents. Few days later, while these Scheduled Caste families were out to earn their livelihood, Church representatives began to occupy their land. When the family members questioned the pastors, they started abusing them including women in most un-parliamentary language. They even threatened them with dire consequences if they do not vacate the land.
It has come to notice that the local police instead of helping the victims against the powerful Church authorities, have taken some of them who were protesting to the station. The Church pastors who evicted these families forcefully were not even questioned or warned by the police or the administration.
Victims have alleged that the Church Pastors abused and threatened the families
The victims narrated their experience to Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) which has approached the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and District Collector of Kadapa for action against Church authorities for crime committed against the families of marginalized communities.
LRPF in its complaint letter has said that eviction of the families by the Church Pastors was a clear case suppression of ‘Right to Life’ which is guaranteed by the Constitution of India under its Article 21. It also noted that the act was atrocity against the people of Scheduled Castes. LRPF also says that the local administration and police remained as mute spectators while the entire episode transpired.
The construction of the Church went on despite protests from the SC families
LRPF notes that when the hapless SC families tried to protect their land and houses, some of the protesting SC people were taken to the police station. "The local administration is not stepping in to protect poor SC families by stopping the construction of Church and end the high handed and arrogant behavior of the Christian Pastors. Poor SC families have been deprived of their houses, their livelihood and their right to live free of fear, has been violated", says the LRPF complaint letter.
Requesting immediate intervention by the NCSC, LRPF urges them immediately issue orders to the district administration to provide alternate housing site where the SC families can put up their tents/ huts. LRPF also requests the NCSC and District Administration to take strict action against Church Pastors for crime committed against the families of marginalized communities, which includes women and children.