Justice, Reparations and Accountability for Religious and Caste Massacres in India

The secular Constitution of India guarantees protection and equality before the law to religious minorities, Dalits and tribal communities. But, recurring episodes of communal violence during and since Partition have given rise to the perception that the Government of India is unwilling to hold perpetrators and complicit public officials accountable for their actions against minorities.

This project will build on the findings of a pilot study that indicated widespread failure of public institutions to protect minorities before, during and after communal violence (106022).

Researchers will examine the experience of survivors/victims in two locations (Gujarat and Orissa or Delhi) with respect to the following areas of state responsibility:

  • the duty to prevent the outbreak of targeted mass violence;
  • the duty to control violence effectively and protect all citizens regardless of their identities;
  • the duty to provide adequate, fair and timely relief, rehabilitation and reparation to enable victims to rebuild their lives; and
  • the duty to ensure that perpetrators are prosecuted and subjected to due process of criminal law.

The project is expected to produce fresh insight into how state institutions can be held accountable in the aftermath of mass violence, and prepare the ground for a just policy and binding national norms on compensation, relief and rehabilitation. It will also help specify what changes to the law are required to make public officials more accountable and reduce their immunity to prosecution.

Project ID


Project status


Start Date

Friday, February 25, 2011

End Date

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


36 months

IDRC Officer

Singh, Navsharan

Total funding

CA$ 320,000


India, Central Asia, Far East Asia, South Asia


Governance and Justice

Project Leader

Mr. Harsh Mander


Centre for Equity Studies

Institution Country