Traumatised Orissa Tribals Can’t Vote

Traumatised Tribals of Orissa Cant Vote: Will meet the Press (25 March 2009, New Delhi) Citizens for Justice and Peace Delegation of 20 tribals and indigenous peoples from the Kandhmahals region of Orissa badly traumatised by the communal violence accompanied by local activists are in the capital since March 23 and will meet the Election Commission on Wednesday March 25, 2009.
The delegation is appealing to the Election Commission to address seriously the issue of disenfranchisement of over 22,000 indigenous peoples from this district and either consider postponement of elections in these areas or implement special measures to ensure their franchise for the displaced. The delegation will meet the press at the Press Club of India on March 25 at 2 p.m. Over the three day visit, the delegation has also met the National Human Rights Commission, the National Minorities Commission and the office of the United Nations Commmissioner for Human Rights. To address the critical issues of the state meetings with national political parties have also been organised. On March 23 the petition file by victims and activists came up for hearing before the apex court and Chief Justice Balakrishnan posted it along with the Archbishops matter for hearing on April 6.
The main prayer in the petition is for restraining the Orissa administration from forcible closure of relief camps and the stay on the functioning of the camp courts that in the situation where tribal Christians are unable to be pesent at the hearings are in effect rendering tribals landless. The entire visit has been supported by Citizens for Justice and Peace. Teesta Setalvad, Secretary, Citizens for Justice and Peace Nirant, Juhu Tara Road, Juhu, Mumbai 400 049. Ph: 2660 2288 Email: cjp02in@yahoo.com

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