August 3, 2017
Shri Narendra Modi,
Honourable Prime Minster of India.
Dear Prime Minister,
Greetings to you from the National Council of Churches in India!
Your good self and indeed all the citizens of the country are well aware of the phenomenon of minority targeted violence in the country. In the long list of such occurrences, we mention just a few recent incidents:
- Ainul Ansari attacked in Jharkhand on suspicion that he was taking beef to an Iftaar gathering in June 2017.
- Junaid Khan stabbed to death by a mob in a train on the eve of Id in Ballagarh in June, 2017.
- Alimuddin Ansari lynched in Jharkhand on suspicion of carrying beef in June 2017.
- Sultan Masih, a Christian pastor was killed in Punjab on 15th July, 2017 and the culprits have not yet been arrested.
- In Goa, incidents of desecration of Holy Crosses and Graves are happening very frequently in places such as Curtoriam, Chandor, Gudi- Paroda and Churchorem in South Goa. The atmosphere in Goa is communalized and the Christian and Muslim communities are facing serious discrimination and threat.
We are deeply disturbed about the various expressions of vigilantism in different parts of our Country. We strongly condemn incidents of lynching and mob violence, particularly against Muslims and Dalits. In fact minority communities are experiencing horrendous forms of Symbolic, Structural and Physical violence. Such occurrences not only corrode the secular ethos of our Country but also tarnish the name of India in the international sphere. On the one hand while we are boasting about our technological and economic development, our record in human relational secular development is not so laudable.
What makes us feel so exasperated is that the State and Central Governments are not taking severe action against the different expressions of vigilantism. Mere words of condemnation are not enough. We are horrified that various states are bringing severe anti cow slaughter acts where as there is so much reluctance to bring in anti lynching / mob violence acts and to implement them. Unfortunately, because of the link of vigilantes with political parties and cultural originations, state mechanisms are afraid to take action against them. Some of our national leaders keeping asserting that “law and order” is a state subject; nevertheless the Centre needs to pressurize the states to act. Since governance of the country in our times revolves around you, we strongly urge you to bring in a new act to address the present situation or execute severe action against perpetrators of violence using the existing laws.
At the same time the churches are deeply pained about the killing of 7 Amarnath Yatra Pilgims by terrorists. We urge you to provide more security to the pilgrims and bring the culprits to the law.
Therefore we call upon you to take effective positive steps for the inclusive multi-dimensional development of all the communities in our beloved country, India.
We also assure you the Christian community continues to pray for the country and to contribute to its all round development.
Rev. Dr. Roger Gaikwad,
General Secretary, NCCI.