Case of Social Injustice, VINDICATED!
STAFF REPORT, BANGALORE. June, 27, 2008.
“…Righteous and Justice are the foundation of His throne..” Psalm 97:2
The story below is to challenge every Christian to stand for social justice. It is also to give hope to those who are oppressed. We at MoreLove, take no credit for what God has chosen to do in and through us. It is the working of our Lord Jesus Christ and glory be to Him alone.
It was a gruesome scene that we encountered when we reached the hospital on that tragic day on the 7th of May 2008. Mr. Norohna, aged 76 years (a retired manager from HAL and an active member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society) was brutally beaten and injured. Mr Norohna who had already undergone two cardiac surgeries was assaulted mercilessly by his neighbours, Mr. Naidu and family, for the sole reason that he resisted their attempt to encroach on his own property that he had owned for more than 40 years. Mrs. Norohna, 72 years, a retired school teacher was in a state of shock, fearing for their lives. Added to this, the police officials were not in a position to help the victims because the Karnataka assembly elections were just a couple of days away and they had been assigned to ensure that law and order was maintained.
At MoreLove, we were infuriated to see the utter contempt that was shown by the perpetrators of the crime. The sheer barbarity with which these innocent lives were being violated, exasperated us. The police department seemed to be reluctant to help in this time of need for diverse reasons that are best known to them. Knowing that our God is a God of righteousness and justice, we decided that something had to be done and plunged right in. Sunil Jose, the Program Director of MoreLove was assigned the task of investigating the case and ensuring that no stone was left unturned in the pursuit for justice.
The task that lay ahead of us was an uphill and arduous task for various reasons.
Firstly, the Norohna’s were severely shaken. This wasn’t their first experience with such injustice. In the past six years, they were repeatedly subjected to verbal abuse. On at least two earlier incidents they were violently beaten causing physical injury and grave mental trauma. On one such violent encounter the daughter-in-law of the Norohna’s was assaulted. There was also an outrage of her modesty. During all these turbulent times, the Norohna’s hardly had any support even from the Church which is the tangible body of Christ. Subsequently, their faith in God was shaken, they began to question God. We constantly remained in close contact with them. We assured them our every support and prayed with them.
Secondly, the law enforcing mechanism posed a huge challenge. If you have any experience dealing with these agencies here, you’ll know what we’re talking about.
We investigated the entire case and prepared a detailed report containing the history of the entire case. Having found the Police authorities to be delinquent in their duties, we decided to approach the Lok Ayukta. Dr. Dominic Dixon (criminal psychologist) submitted his psychological & sociological evaluation of the entire case, after a detailed study. We helped the Norohna’s to draw up a formal complaint. We then approached His Excellency, the Governor of Karnataka, The Commissioner of Police for Bangalore and the chief of Lok Ayukta, Justice Hegde. The Upa Lok Ayukta chief, Mr. Gowda was very courteous and helpful. He directed the police inspector to furnish a report and provide us all necessary support. (Lok Ayukta, is a government internal affairs agency that investigates the delinquency of government officials)
We then filed a case against the accused. We knew that the Law would take its own time; we were prepared to wait.
We soon got our first breakthrough; a warrant against the accused. The accused went into hiding for over a fortnight only to surface again and surrender to the police. He was later released on bail.
The Governor replied to our report and directed the Home Ministry to look into the matter.
A few days back the main accused died suddenly of a heart attack. We had always prayed for their conversion and continue to do so. Our sympathies lie with the family.
The Inspector of police Mr. Devaya, submitted a formal report to Dr. Dominic Dixon, citing all the action that has been taken against the perpetrator. We find them satisfactory.
The matter now will be resolved in the courts.
Our greatest reward however is to see the Norohna’s slowly getting back to normal life. Their faith in God has been restored and they are relieved. They are at peace and feel secure.
In summary, we have been very enriched by the whole experience and have learnt many valuable lessons, a few of which are enlisted below.
- God hates injustice and for the Christian, it is not merely an option but an obligation to help those who suffer injustice.
- Fighting for the cause of truth and justice is one of the surest ways of witnessing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
- God is a God of justice, vengeance belongs to Him. We ought to wait for his vision and provision and continue to do what is truthful and honest. He is able to deliver.
- We ought to fear God and not man.
- We may have many weapons to our disposal such as influence in high places, wealth, intellect and cunning. However, we ought to put our trust in the name of the Lord.
- Whatsoever we do in pursuit for justice must be within the precepts of Gods Law that has been revealed in His Word.
- We ought to always pray for our oppressors. Our aim is not so much his conviction by law, but his conviction by the Holy Spirit.
- The Law may seem impotent and inefficient to defend us but in effect is a very powerful tool for social reform. It is our ignorance of the Law that often causes our downfall. It may be time consuming and laborious but within the law are sufficient provisions to ensure our safety.
The hand of the Lord has done mighty things. He has vindicated the oppressed and given them justice. All glory be to the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
MORE JUSTICE, MORE LOVE ,MORE JESUS.