The Supreme on Monday said it would not allow “persecution” of minorities and asked the Orissa government to resign if it was unable to protect Christians who were targeted in recent riots that followed the assassination of a VHP leader in 2008.
A bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice Markandey Katju and Justice P. Sathasivam asked the BJD-led government to reconstruct the churches damaged during the violence.
“We will not accept the persecution of minority. If the state government is unable to protect them it should resign. We have to protect the minorities… No minority community should be insecure in the country,” Justice Katju said.
“It is the duty of the state government to protect the minority community. You (state) have done only after 50,000 people of the minority community fled to the jungles,” he stated.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Cuttack Archbishop Raphel Cheenath. His counsel Colin Gonsalves said a “deceptive calm” has returned to Orissa and work rehabilitation work was in progress, but it wasn’t satisfactory.
Meanwhile, Orissa government’s advocate K.K. Venugopal said the Centre shouldn’t withdraw the paramilitary forces, as the situation in Kandhamal was still tense.