07/15/2013, 00.00
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Christian clergyman's death in Orissa ruled an "accident" by police

by Nirmala Carvalho
Police dismiss the obvious signs of violence on the victim's body. For the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), "When the anniversary of the 2008 anti-Christian pogroms in Kandhamal approaches, Hindu extremists attack Christians."

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "Once again, a Protestant clergyman in Orissa is murdered and the police tries to dismiss it as an accident," said Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), who spoke to AsiaNews after the discovery of the tortured body of Rev Jaisankar, a medical doctor and pastor at the Blessing Youth Mission, near Lamtaput (Kandhamal district). His funeral will be held today at 4 pm (local time).

Jaisankar went missing Thursday morning as he made his way by motorbike to Lamtaput to provide medical training. Sometime later, his body and bike were found close to the banks of a river. According to the police, it was an accident: the doctor was crossing a bridge when he fell into the river as a result of violent rains, and the current dragged him away.

However, given the type of wounds his body suffered and the conditions under which Christians live in the area, the GCIC believes it was murder.

"In August 2008," Sajan George said, "all the churches and Christian places of worship in the villages of Fufugaon, Chandrasundi Pada and Narakunduliguda were looted and burnt. Hindu extremists often act out their brutality against the Christian minority, especially when the anniversary of the terrible and brutal genocide of Kandhamal approaches."

Episodes similar to that of the doctor have already happened in the past, like the death of Michael Nayak in 2011, which was deemed an "accident". In 2012, the authorities reopened the case as a possible murder.

Anti-Christian violence in August 2008, George noted, "was part of an orchestrated plot, which was also fully supported [by the government] of Orissa."


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