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November 17, 2001 VNN6965 Related VNN StoriesComment on this story
Devotees In Puri Still In Jail
BY BHAKTA DASA
PURI, INDIA, Nov 17 (VNN) Dear Respected Vaisnavas, Many of our readers may remember back to August 2000, when Bhakta dasa, Mayapur Chandra dasa, and Mandali Bhadra dasa were arrested in Jagannatha Puri on charges they had gang-raped six year old Tulasi devi, daughter of Ms. Maria Schmidova, a Slovakian national, residing in Vienna.While all the accused persons vigorously denied the validity of Maria charges, the Orissa Crime Branch allowed her to leave India in spite of vehement protests from the arrested devotees.
Maria confessed before the honorable High Court in Austria that the whole case was fabricated from the beginning.
After almost one year, the police filed formal charge in the middle of June 2001. Surprisingly, in the charges are for gang-raping Maria and abusing Tulasi, although Maria has never once mentioned in any of her statements that she was raped!In March 2001, Bhakta dasa's family brought formal cases against Maria in Austria. In a quick settlement, Maria confessed before the honorable High Court in Austria that the whole case was fabricated from the beginning.
In her admission she named two lawyers in Puri who inspired and guided her to make the case. This settlement in Austria was certified by the Supreme Court of Austria, by the Austrian External Affairs Minister, and finally by the Indian High Commission in Vienna. It was then formally submitted to the High Court of Orissa in expectation the accused persons would either be granted immediate bail, or the case would be dismissed.
Sadly, the Orissa court chose to totally ignore the Austrian court documents, and the case has continued as though it were genuine. The Orissa prosecutors continue to insist that Maria and Tulasi will appear as witnesses in the trial, although Maria will be imprisoned and severely fined in Austria if she does so!Currently the case is approaching a trial, which cannot begin until Maria and Tulasi arrive in Puri? Who is going to bring them? The devotees imprisoned, ask for the kind prayers of the Vaisnava community in their hour of trial.If anyone has high level contacts in the Indian government and feels they may be able to assist, please contact Kulasekar dasa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your servant, Bhakta dasa
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