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Study finds similarities in women victims of violence in Guj,Orissa

A study conducted by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom has found similarities between the riot-affected women in Gujarat and the women victims of violence in Kandhamal,Orissa.

Written by Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
February 3, 2009 2:49:47 am

A study conducted by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) has found similarities between the riot-affected women in Gujarat and the women victims of violence in Kandhamal,Orissa. A WILPF team visited the relief camps for the women victims between January 22 and 24,after which the findings were made public.

The study was conducted on women who were victims of violence in various degrees in Orissa. The report says women in the relief camps are living a life of misery,as they are exploited. Absence of electricity in the camps has led to many incidents of sexual assault in the camps. The women are deprived of even the basic necessities like clothes.

In a letter,Illa Pathak,president of WILPF India,expressed that such incidents of violence can occur anywhere in the country at any time. The victims happen to be women,as they are vulnerable to certain forms of violence. The Centre,by remaining inactive,is exposing the poor and minority groups to serious violation of human rights.

The researchers say they found many similarities in the incidents of violence against women in relief camps in Gujarat after the post-Godhra riots in 2002 and those in Kandhamal in Orissa in 2008.

“The non-Hindus (Muslims in Gujarat and Christians in Orissa) were attacked by Hindu fundamentalist groups like the VHP and Bajrang Dal. The local Hindu population was incited against the non-Hindus; so,in Kandhamal,a Hindu tribal or a Hindu Dalit attacked non-Hindu tribals/Dalits. The attackers were armed with guns. The state government did not act effectively when it started.

Consequently,a large number of people were killed,women raped,girls abducted,property looted and the non- Hindus had to run for life and shelter in relief camps,” said the report.

Pathak claimed that penal action should be taken against the perpetrators of violence and the cases should be solved with the help of fast track courts.

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