01/25/2011, 00.00
INDIA
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As anti-Christian violence continues, Orissa government fails to uphold the law

by 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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