03/05/2014, 00.00
INDIA

For Christian leader, victims in Orissa and Gujarat should be treated the same way

by Nirmala Carvalho
The president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) calls on the central government to give the children of victims of anti-Christian pogroms in Kandhamal (2008) the same privileges in government hiring as it does for the children of Hindu-Muslim riots (2002).

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) wants the government to treat the victims of anti-Christian pogroms in Orissa the same way as it has treated survivors of the riots between Hindus and Muslims in Gujarat.

The GCIC made its views public after India's Ministry of Home Affairs relaxed age requirements (by five years) for the children of the victims of the 2002 massacres when they apply for jobs at the Intelligence Bureau (IE) and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

In two separate press releases last Saturday, India's Ministry of Home Affairs announced that it is applying new age limits for 532 openings in the IB and 123 in the CISF.  

GCIC president Sajan George welcomed the government's decision. However, he wants the government to go further and give "the same concessions to those who suffered from [anti-Christian] pogroms." In particular, he points to "the children and dependents of victims of anti-Christian violence that occurred in the district of Kandhamal (Orissa) in 2008."

"Besides suffering persecution on religious grounds, these people belong to the most marginalised groups in society since most of them are Dalits and tribals," Sajan explained.

What happened in Kandhamal in August 2008, the Christian leader said, "is without a doubt the most painful and terrible chapter in the history of India. Innocent Christians were brutally targeted and mercilessly killed. Their homes, places of worship and places of work were destroyed. The wounds of that terrible tragedy cannot be easily erased."

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