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Puri Trial Finished
Devotees to Go Free

By Vrindaban dasa

Hare Krishna 
Hare Krishna 
Krishna Krishna 
Hare Hare 
Hare Rama 
Hare Rama 
Rama Rama 
Hare Hare

Dear Maharajas and Prabhus,

Please accept my humble obeisances. All glory to our divine spiritual masters.

Today, April 19, 2002, the trial of seven men accused by the police of Orissa of raping the six-year-old daughter of Austrian Maria Schmidova is complete.

The public prosecutor handed a two-page letter to Judge Guru Prasad stating he had no more witnesses to call, and he conceded there is no evidence to sustain the charges made by the police. He told the court he received no cooperation from the police for the duration of the trial. The complainant, Maria Schmidova, did not appear, nor did her now-8-year-old daughter, Tulsi. The police failed to bring a German-speaking person to translate the FIR (First Information Report), which is the foundation of the case.

Two doctors who examined Maria and Tulsi did appear in court this week. Both admitted there was no medical evidence to support the rape allegation. Dr. Lenkha, who examined Tulsi and Maria on June 29, 2000, and wrote in his report, "there is redness in the genital area of Tulsi; there are signs of ‘attempt to rape,’" admitted that the redness could be caused by any number of causes, including the child’s sliding down the staircase banister, scratching herself, etc.

The judgment is expected on Monday or Tuesday (April 22 or 23) and the devotees inside the Puri Jail for more than 600 days will be free.

Devotees worldwide who visit India should be aware that under Indian law, a woman’s word carries great weight. If a woman alleges she has been raped, even with no supporting evidence, a man will be arrested and held without bail for a very long time. The Indian judiciary did not imagine women would use this law to take revenge on jilting lovers and their friends.

Lord Caitanya always forbade his devotees to intermingle intimately with the residents of the dham. In this case, Maria entered into a love affair with Asoke Sahu, a man born in Puri dham. Can we learn a lesson?

To those of you who have kindly remembered those devotees languishing in the jail in your prayers goes our deepest gratitude.

Sri Krishna Samkirtan Ki-Jaya!

Your humble servant,
Vrindaban dasa

© CHAKRA 22 April 2002

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