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» 09/09/2010
INDIA
Hindu extremist MP sentenced for killings in Orissa anti-Christian pogrom
by Santosh Digal
Manoj Pradhan will serve six years in prison and pay a fine for killing a Christian during the pogroms of 2008. In June he was convicted of another murder, but the Orissa High Court had granted him freedom on probation. Christian’s lawyer: "Now the victims can begin to have a little confidence in Indian legal system."

Bhubaneswar (AsiaNews) - Kandhamal district court today sentenced to six years imprisonment Manoj Pradhan, a deputy for Orissa of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), for the murder of Vikram Nayak, a Christian killed during the pogroms of 2008. The Hindu extremist – who also belongs to the radical group Sangha Parivar - will have to pay a fine of 250 Euros for legal costs.

The news was welcomed by the Christians of Kandhamal, who are still waiting for justice two years on from the pogroms. "Pradhan’s conviction - said Fr Dibakabr Parichha, a lawyer and supervisor of the trial - gives a ray of hope to victims of the pogrom in Kandhamal. " According to Markos Joseph Kunnumpurath, a lawyer who has been representing Christians at trials in recent years, "now the victims can return to have a little confidence in Indian legal system."

Among the main perpetrators of violence, Pradhan has been cited in 38 murder cases. Of these only six have been considered by the court. On 29 June the tribunal sentenced him to seven years for the murder of another Christian, Parikh Naik. The sentence was never served thanks to the Orissa High Court, which granted him freedom on probation.

Between December 2007 and August 2008, Hindu extremists killed 93 people, burned and looted more than 6,500 houses, destroyed over 350 churches and 45 schools. Because of the pogroms, over 50 thousand people fled into the forest, many of them are still living in refugee camps. Others who returned to their villages, were forced to reconvert to Hinduism. To date, most perpetrators are free and at the trials in Kandhamal court witnesses have been silenced with threats and discrimination.


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See also
06/30/2010 INDIA
Hindu deputy sentenced over Orissa pogrom
01/21/2011 INDIA
Life in prison for Dara Singh, assassin of Pastor Graham Staines
01/27/2011 INDIA
Radical Hindu involved in Orissa pogrom back in jail
by Santosh Digal
07/28/2010 INDIA
Sr. Meena, the raped nun, "a witness of Light and Truth for the Church in India"
06/07/2010 INDIA
Bhopal 26 years later the sentence: two years in prison for 15 thousand dead and 600 thousand intox

Editor's choices
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"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
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ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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