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    » 09/09/2010, 00.00

    INDIA

    Hindu extremist MP sentenced for killings in Orissa anti-Christian pogrom

    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

    30/06/2010 INDIA
    Hindu deputy sentenced over Orissa pogrom
    The man, a leader of the Nationalist Party, was sentenced to seven years for committing violence and killings during the anti-Christian riots of 2008. The Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar: "A sign that we waited a long time for, as Kandhamal slowly returns to peace."

    21/01/2011 INDIA
    Life in prison for Dara Singh, assassin of Pastor Graham Staines
    In 1999, in Orissa, the Hindu extremists burnt the Australian missionary and his two sons alive. Staines’ wife had forgiven the perpetrators sentenced to death in 2003, for their horrible crimes. Sajan K. George: "We are against the death penalty, but we hope that Dara Singh serves his sentence in prison until the end of his days."

    27/01/2011 INDIA
    Radical Hindu involved in Orissa pogrom back in jail
    The High Court of India has cancelled the release on bail granted by a court of Orissa. Manoj Pradhan had been convicted of two murders, is on trial for three others, which during the pogroms of 2008 in Orissa.

    28/07/2010 INDIA
    Sr. Meena, the raped nun, "a witness of Light and Truth for the Church in India"
    On the eve of the trial against the rapists of Sister Meena, the religious sister attacked during anti-Christian pogrom in Orissa, her uncle Mgr. Barwa speaks: "She is the symbol of our struggle. She feels no anger, but want justice for us all. "

    07/06/2010 INDIA
    Bhopal 26 years later the sentence: two years in prison for 15 thousand dead and 600 thousand intox
    The court sentenced eight people over 1984disaster when the cyanide gas leaked from the Union Carbide factory and poisoned in people sleeping in the slums. The sentence is two years in prison each. Victims protests.



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