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  • » 01/25/2011, 00.00

    INDIA

    As anti-Christian violence continues, Orissa government fails to uphold the law

    Santosh Digal

    In 2010, the National Human Rights Commission recorded 62 cases of human rights violations. NHRC officials visit the Orissa state capital where they stress the need for a plan to prevent future anti-Christian violence.
    Bhubaneswar (AsiaNews) – In Orissa, Christians continue to be killed, fall victims to act of violence and endure discrimination, this more than two years after the pogroms that took the lives of 75 people. Last year, Christians and Dalits were victims in 62 cases of human rights violations, this according to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

    On 18 January, HHRC chairman K. G. Balakrishnan arrived in Bhubaneswar where he urged local authorities to stop religious and caste intolerance, especially in Kandhamal district.

    Fr Ajaya Kumar Singh, social service director of Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, told AsiaNews that the Orissa government could do more against human rights violations in Kandhamal. It could start by providing adequate and faster compensation to families who lost members during the 2008 Hindu pogroms.

    Adikanda Singh, a Dalit and human rights activist, called for a plan to provide security against violence by Hindu extremists. For him, the government is to blame for the situation.

    “The justice system has failed to punish the authors of crimes,” he said. “This shows the state cannot judge its citizens with equality.”

    In recent years, an atmosphere caused by weak institutions has forced 50,000 people to flee their homes.

    Most of the culprits are still free whilst witnesses called to testify in Kandhamal courts have been subject to threats and discrimination.

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    See also

    13/11/2008 INDIA
    Indian commission investigating anti-Christian pogrom in Orissa
    A seven-member team begins inquiry in areas where Hindus massacred Christians. They will meet victims, police officials and local administrators. It is still not known whether Sister Meena will take part in the line-up to identify her assailants.

    29/07/2011 INDIA
    Hindu radical kills Christian who had testified in court in a Kandhamal pogrom-related case
    Michael Digal testified in court in a case connected with the 2008 anti-Christian violence. After purging his sentence, a fundamentalist enticed the victim into a trap and killed him. The Global Council of India Christians calls on the authorities to protect pogrom witnesses.

    02/01/2008 INDIA
    Indian bishops on the “authentic Calvary” of Christians in Orissa
    The Bishops Conference announce 8 days of prayer following the Christmas attacks. Numerous fugitives still seek refuge in the forests living without food and shelter. A memorandum from the National Commission for Human Rights sent to the State Governor lists the loss and damage done to Christians and demands action against police who stood by and watched.

    01/07/2009 INDIA
    Orissa: first conviction in anti-Christian riots case
    Nine months after the first attacks in Kandhamal district, a court issues a first conviction for one of the people who instigated the violence. Father Chellan, who was among the victims of Hindu fanaticism, wants the authorities to provide witnesses with full protection because they are still under constant threat.

    29/10/2008 INDIA
    Indian Church remembers Fr. Bernard Digal, martyr of the faith in Orissa
    Archbishop Cheenath of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar emphasizes his "tireless" work on behalf of "persecuted Christians," and his devotion to the Virgin Mary. His fellow religious stress his "virtues and ability to forgive his persecutors." Friday October 31, the community's last goodbye to the slain priest.



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