» 08/27/2010, 00.00
Kandhamal: slain former leader of Hindu converted to Christianity
The body of Biskesan Pradhan was found this morning by police near Tiangia (Orissa), a village hit by anti-Christian pogrom of 2008. Former leader of Hindu extremist organization, the man had converted to Christianity three years ago and attended the Baptist Church. Orissa Christians denounce continuing cases of forced conversions by Hindu extremists.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - A former Hindu converted to Christianity was killed this morning near Tiangia, a village in the district of Kandhamal (Orissa) hit by anti-Christian pogrom of August 2008. Police found the man's body beside a stream in the forest and have already launched an investigation. Biskesan Pradhan, 47, was a former leader of the Hindu extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and had converted to Christianity about three years ago, becoming a member of the Baptist Church. His murder coincided with the publication of the results of the National People's Tribunal (NTP), an initiative that 22 to 24 August in New Delhi was attended by victims, activists and judges, in order to report cases of violence of the pogroms of 2008, which so far have gone unpunished.
Sajan George, president of Global Christian Council of Indian Christians (Gcic) says: "The news of the brutal murder of Biskesan Pradhan is deeply distressing. We condemn this act made against the former extremist Hindu who became a Christian. "
Citing the results of the NTP, presented today, the activist points out that the jury has reported a succession of forced conversions carried out by Hindu extremists in Orissa, even after the events of 2008. "The fanatics - he says – use torture, intimidation, murder, economic boycotts and public humiliation to convert or re-convert the population,."
Sajan George, says the violence that began August 23, 2008 broke the climate of peace and harmony present in Orissa. He calls on central government, local authorities and civil society to engage with all Christians to stop these criminal acts and continue to protect religious minorities.
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One hundred activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS, a Hindu ultra-nationalist group) accused them of forced conversions, then led the police to arrest them. Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): "No let up for Christians, the system is corrupt." Today in Orissa a march to commemorate the anti-Christian violence of 2008.
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In the 197-page document, the National People’s Tribunal of the National Solidarity Movement, a coalition of social activist groups, draws a global picture of Hindu fundamentalist violence against Christians in Kandhamal, including the context, the human, socio-economic and cultural impact of the attacks, the authorities’ responses and possible solutions to bring justice and dignity to survivors.
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The authorities have not yet responded to the request to ensure the safety of Christmas celebrations. 16 thousand homeless families and in 20 villages Christians can only return if they convert to Hinduism. Archbishop Cheenath concerns.
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