17 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 06/02/2006 14:19
INDIA
Christians found innocent after two years in prison
by Nirmala Carvalho

A court in Madhya Pradesh exonerated 16 Christians accused of murder, citing invented testimonies and lack of evidence. Local bishops said anti-Christian activities have increased in the area as Hindu extremists try to create the same culture of intolerance prevailing in Gujarat.



Bhopal (AsiaNews) –After spending two years in prison on false accusations, 16 Christians in Madhya Pradesh, India, have been declared innocent. The verdict was handed down on 31 May by the Court of Alirajpur in Jhabalpurt district. The 16 detainees had been accused of murder and attempted murder in the context of clashes that took place between 11 and 17 January between Christians and members of the extremist Hindu group, Rashtrya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS).

The judges absolved the 16 people from all charges against them for lack of evidence. The court also found that testimonies produced by the prosecution had been deliberately fabricated and manipulated. At the time the incidents took place, police arrested a group of Christians following the death, in the clashes, of a RSS activist and the wounding of 10 others. The 16 people were imprisoned merely on the basis of suspicion and both the High Court of Madhya Pradesh as well as the Supreme Court denied them bail.

The spokesman of the Bishops' Conference of Madhya Pradesh, Fr Anand Muttungal, expressed satisfaction about the verdict. Fr Anand played an important role in the trial, striving to demonstrate the Christians' innocence. He said: "The decision has vindicated the Church once again."

Learning about the news, Fr Babu Joseph, spokesman of the Indian Bishops' Conference, told AsiaNews: "They were in prison although they were innocent; this incident will certainly help to strengthen public faith in the Judiciary of India. Two years in jail for no crime is a matter of grave concern for all who believe in the values of liberty, fairness and justice."

However, persecution against Christians continues in the region. In recent months, Jhabalpur district became a theatre of anti-Christian activities perpetrated amid the silence of the local population. The Bishops' Conference of Madhya Pradesh denounced that this intimidation campaign included "forced conversions to Hinduism and attacks on places of worship by fundamentalist groups aimed creating the same culture of intolerance prevalent in Gujarat." And the authorities merely look on.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
05/27/2005 INDIA
Christian clergyman disappears in Andhra Pradesh
by Nirmala Carvalho
09/09/2010 INDIA
Hindu extremist MP sentenced for killings in Orissa anti-Christian pogrom
by Santosh Digal
08/24/2004 INDIA
Priest seriously injured in attack against Catholic Church
06/02/2005 INDIA
Catholic priest arrested for pedophilia in a Hindu fundamentalist plot
by Nirmala Carvalho
11/03/2008 INDIA
Bishop of Orissa: We are being persecuted like the first Christians
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.