05/12/2008, 00.00
INDIA
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Orissa: five months after anti-Christian attack no government aid forthcoming

by Nirmala Carvalho
Local superior of the Missionaries of Charity in Shanti Nivas, a Christian centre in the Khandhamal district attacked by Hindu fanatics on Christmas Eve, denounces the lack of compensation and the government’s delaying tactics. The authorities do not like Christian apostolate.

Srasananda (AsiaNews) – Five months after a massacre that touched the Christian community in the state of Orissa the local government has not paid compensation for the damages suffered and has not launched any legal investigation into the case that is worthy of its name, this according to br Oscar Tete, local superior of the Missionary of Charity in Shanti Nivas, a Christian centre in Khandhamal district, i.e. the area where Hindu fanatics went on a rampage last Christmas Eve.

“The centre had a medical facility, offices, a residence for the missionaries, and a building for animals,” said brother Tete. “All this was extensively damaged so that today the one small room that survived in the medical facility is used as living quarters for the religious. The government has not paid any compensation for the damages and phone lines and power are still out.”

“The government does not like our apostolate,” he added, “and are using delaying tactics.”

“So far I have not been summoned to appear before any court of law to testify to what happened, and this despite the many investigators, local and nationals, who have come here. What are we going to now that June rains will soon arrive? We’ll run out of drinking water and we have not been able to repair our damaged bore well.”

Still “our priority is Our Lady. We put a small statue of Mary in the middle of the rubbles and we pray to her every day when we recite the Rosary,” Father Tete said.

“Christians of all denomination take part in the function in a sign of the unity which we need so much. As Mother Teresa used to say ‘Let us pray so that all may be one’.”

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