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    » 07/22/2011, 00.00

    INDIA

    In a parody of justice, accused in Kandhamal pogrom get rigorous imprisonment and fines

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, slams the sentencing of nine people involved in the violence. Priest in Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar says he expected “life in prison or the death penalty”.
    Mumbai (AsiaNews) – “This is a parody of justice that reopens deep wounds among the victims of anti-Christian pogroms,” said Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC). He spoke in response to the conviction of nine people involved in arson, murder, breaking the peace and unlawful assembly during the 2008 anti-Christian pogroms in Kandhamal (Orissa). They were sentenced to rigorous imprisonment and fines of 11,000 rupees (US$ 250) each.

    Fr Dibya Singh, from Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar, calls the decision “ridiculous” and a “serious injustice against the Christians of Kandhamal”.

    Rigorous imprisonment and fine are not sufficient, according to the priest, who plans to appeal to the High Court. “It is a case of murder and homes set on fire. We expected life in prison or the death penalty.”

    The GCIC president noted that those responsible for the 2008 violence are aware of the authorities’ complicity and therefore of their own impunity.

    In the meantime, “The Christian community in Kandhamal continues to live in fear because of intimidation from Hindutva extremists who can freely move from village to village.”

    The Global Council of Indian Christians has filed a petition with the National Human Rights Commission to investigate serious human rights violations against Christians in Kandhamal, which continue today with justice denied.
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    See also

    12/05/2011 INDIA
    Orissa: still no justice for Christian victims of 2008 violence
    Out of more than 3,000 cases, only 327 have made it to court with 1,597 suspects acquitted. Almost three years after anti-Christian pogroms, trials are marred by all sorts of irregularities.

    06/12/2011 INDIA
    Orissa Christians hope for justice, Indian activist says
    In an interview with AsiaNews, Ram Puniyani, Convenor of the National People’s Tribunal, talks about the latter’s report on the 2008 anti-Christian pogroms. For him, the issue was not religious but the political use of poverty among Hindu Adivasi and Christian Dalits by Hindu fundamentalists.

    18/12/2012 INDIA
    Christmas strengthens our faith in Christ, Orissa bishop says
    Interview with Mgr John Barwa, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar. Following the anti-Christian pogroms in Kandhamal (2007 and 2008), priests and nuns are involved in making communities "united and mature in their faith".

    21/12/2011 INDIA
    Christmas in Orissa for Hindu prisoners
    A priest visits inmates in Balliguda, Khandamal. The district was the scene of anti-Christian violence. A tearful Hindu prisoner says he was lonely and in despair. “Now I know and feel that God is with me and will not abandon me”.

    10/12/2012 INDIA
    No persecution can destroy our faith, says Orissa archbishop
    Interview with Mgr John Barwa, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneshwar. He is on spiritual retreat 10-14 December) with his priests, victims of anti-Chritian pogroms. Fr Errol Fernandes is in charge of the retreat, centred on the Year of Faith. In 2008, the Jesuit priest met Hindu students at a Mumbai college to describe what was happening to Christians in Orissa.



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