March 14, 2017

Invitation to Book Release: "KANDHAMAL: Miscarriage of Justice by Former Chairman, Law Commission of India, Justice A P Shah (31 MArch, New Delhi)

Mr. Justice A P Shah
Former Chairman, Law Commission of India
And Former Chief Justice, High Court of Delhi

Will launch the path-breaking research

Introspection of Initiative for Justice 2007-2015
By Vrinda Grover & Saumya Uma

At 5 pm On Friday, 31st March 2017
At the Deputy Speakers Hall, Constitutional Club
Rafi Marg, New Delhi

Discussants: Supreme Court Senior Advocates
Raju Ramachandran & Rebecca Mammen John
and The Caravan Magazine Political Editor Hartosh Singh Bal

You are cordially invited to the Book Launch and discussion on aspects of the difficult search for justice by victims and survivors of Communal and targeted violence

Published by Media House, New Delhi, and The United Christian Forum

For further information, please contact
AC Michael: +91 9818155290 acmichael60@gmail.com
Ajaya Kumar Singh: +91 9437481805 ajaysingho@gmail.com
John Dayal: +91 9811021072  john.dayal@gmail.com


India has seen many incidents of communal violence targeting religious minorities. Every violence sees children and adults killed in the most inhuman manner, women raped, and thousands rendered homeless in mass arson. State impunity, police bigotry and insensitivity, and shoddy or non-existent investigation have marked the post-violence scene. Relief, rehabilitation, and the criminal justice system  has repeatedly failed the victims and survivors.
The violence in Kandhamal, in the state of Odisha, was the Christian community’s first experience with targeted mass violence in centuries. Human rights groups estimate that around 100 people were killed, including disabled and elderly persons, children, men and women.More than 600 villages were ransacked; at least 5,600 houses were looted and burnt; at least 54,000 people were left homeless;295 churches and other places of worship, big and small, were destroyed; 13 schools, colleges, philanthropic institutions including leprosy homes, tuberculosis sanatoriums, and offices of several non-profit organizations were looted, damaged or burnt.About 30,000 people were uprooted and lived in relief camps and continue to be displaced. During this period about 2,000 people were forced to renounce their Christian faith. More than 10,000 children had their education severely disrupted due to displacement and fear.There has been no official estimate of those who suffered severe physical injuries and mental trauma.
This book is a unique investigation of the Justice process in targeted mass violence on this nature. Similar work has perhaps not been done in earlier cases targeting other communities. It is a searing indictment of the system that has failed the victim.
Vrinda Grover is a lawyer, researcher and human rights activist based in New Delhi, India. Her research and writing probes the impunity of the state for human rights violations particularly in areas of militarization and conflict, and the role of law in the subordination of women. She was a Research Fellow at the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, Delhi 2013-2014. She has done seminal research on targeted communal violence including the 1984 anti Sikh pogrom and the attack on Christians in Kandhamal in 2008. Vrinda Grover is a prominent commentator in the media on jurisprudential issues relating to human rights violations and violence against women.
Saumya Uma has worked in varying capacities over the past 22 years, including as a lawyer, law researcher, law trainer, campaigner and academician, with a specialization in gender and human rights. She has engaged with the issue of justice for the survivors of the violence in Kandhamal violence since 2010. She researched and authored 'Breaking the Shackled Silence: Unheard Voices of Women from Kandhamal', published by National Alliance of Women – Odisha chapter in August 2014, which examined the status of the women survivors six years after the violence.  She has researched and authored twelve books, edited / co-edited books by reputed publishers such as the Oxford University Press, and has written and published more than 45 articles on a range of issues pertaining to human rights, violence against women and the law. She is a recipient of the prestigious British Chevening scholarship for human rights in 1998. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. from NLSIU, Bangalore. 
Vrinda Grover and Saumya Uma have worked together on the issue of justice for the survivors of Kandhamal violence for the past seven years.  In 2010, Saumya Uma authored 'Kandhamal: The Law Must Change its Course', edited by Vrinda Grover, published by Multiple Action Research Group, New Delhi.  In 2011, they worked together on 'Waiting for Justice: A Report of National People’s Tribunal on Kandhamal' along with Vahida Nainar, published by National Solidarity Forum, New Delhi.