ASIA/INDIA - The Jesuits denounce: "600 attacks against religious minorities: stop to violence"

Thursday, 9 October 2014

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - A strong appeal has been launched to the central government and the governments of several Indian states in order to adopt "urgent measures to put an end to the orchestrated campaign, motivated by hatred and violence against religious minorities, which has a negative impact on the social harmony in many towns and villages, in many areas of the country" is what the Indian Jesuits gathered in the "Jesa" network (Jesuits in Social Action) ask for. The text of the appeal sent to Fides recalls that "the overt support from political leaders to radical groups and extremist Hindus has triggered violence in many places. The media reported more than 600 cases of violence against minorities between May and September 2014" while the perpetrators go unpunished.
"Impunity - say the Indian Jesuits - further encourages the extremists who are acting outside the law", while civil society has long called to the highest political authorities to stop "those who create disharmony and polarize society". More than 30 organizations that defend human rights have reiterated their request to protect the rights of minorities, especially the right to live with dignity as citizens of India, with equal dignity and equality.
The situation has become so critical, highlights the text sent to Fides, that even a well-known jurist - Fali Nariman has openly expressed his concern. "The first 100 days of the new government - say the Jesuits - have seen a crescendo of hate speeches against Muslims and Christians. Their identity is mocked, their citizenship questioned, their faith ridiculed. Coercion, divisions and suspicions multiply. Attacks against religious minorities have assumed alarming proportions: more than 600 from May to September 2014, in various parts of the country".
The Jesuits conclude: "The hatred, violence campaign and threats have left not only religious minorities speechless, but also civil society, lawyers and academics, while the government remains silent. The Christian community has been the target of mob violence in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh", according to an approach that -says the appeal - has changed its strategy: "A few deaths, but daily low-intensity violence that is becoming routine". This is reason why we ask for "fast action against those who create tension in society" and invites the Minister of the Interior to "issue a directive so that the police are not conditioned by extremist groups". (PA) (Agenzia Fides 09/10/2014)