24 May, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 09/30/2011
INDIA
Orissa, Christians ordeal of violence and injustice continues
A petition of the Global Council of Indian Christians in the National Commission for Human Rights draws up a long list of crimes, injustices and complicity of local and state authorities to the detriment of the victims of anti-Christian pogroms of 2008. The Hindu radicals continue to persecute Catholics and Pentecostals, aided by the police.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - Christian victims of the pogrom in Kandhamal (Orissa) in August 2008 are not only still waiting for justice, but also to be allowed to survive. This is why Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) sent a petition yesterday, on the third anniversary of the massacres, to the judge KG Balakrishna, chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in New Delhi. The petition points out that there are still 54 Catholic families and Pentecostal 17 in Nandagiri, a "colony" for refugees where there is a small community hall that serves as a place of worship. The hall is under threat of demolition by the authorities even though, after the notification of demolition, there were verbal assurances that it will not be applied.

"We are once again approaching NHRC with a plea for your sympathetic consideration of the severe violation of human rights and natural justice in Kandhamal, Orissa" Sajan K. George begins in his petition. "We appeal to you to consider the helpless cries of hundreds of victims of hatred and government apathy." Over 100 Christians were killed three years ago in the pogrom, and many thousands forced to flee into the jungle to save themselves. But the persecution continues. "Many police stations where complaints of [forced] conversions have been lodged against Christians, when questioned about why they were acting on frivolous complaints, revealed that they had orders from above that Christians who are dragged to the police station under false allegations should immediately be locked up, beaten up and denied bail by the lower judiciary, which functions as the loyal partner of the police department. Sometimes this injustice may be visible like the tip of an iceberg, but most of the time it would be invisible to an inexperienced eye”.

"Thus Kandhamal has become a test case for criminal justice, not just of the ability of the government to dismantle radical criminal gangs, but of its ability to uphold citizens’ rights (Christian) while doing so. Below are some facts of the tragedy that continues to unfold in Kandhamal to this day. "

The list is reminiscent of the mysterious deaths, like that of Mukesh Nayak, a Christian of 43 from Baliguda, who had testified in the Kandhamal trial, the inability to arrest the killers of Pastor Saul Pradhan (08/04/2011 Orissa Police "complicit" in the death of a pastor. Demands for immediate re-trial).

The state government has not even given reasonable compensation to the victims of the pogroms, and has used an irrational and arbitrary system to decide on the extent of damage suffered, and who should be compensated. In addition, says the petition, the State of Orissa has failed miserably in rehabilitation and recovery operations for victims of interreligious violence.

The list continues with some individual examples. There is the case of Mithun Digal, of Belgadi, who has been denied the right to register with the District Employment Exchange, for specious reasons. He is denied residence, caste, and income certificates.

Snehal Behera, 16, became a widow four months ago in Luhapanga, and was denied a pension and insurance payment because she has no card BPL card (Below Poverty Line). Local authorities are unjustly refusing to give her the card.

In another instance, Indira Awas, was denied a pension. "These are just some examples that demonstrate the attitude of the various branches of Christians."

The problem also affects many other families besides those of Nadagiri. The petition says that "When the demented crowds attacked the Christians and destroyed their houses along with their belongings, most of the victims found shelter in the distant jungles and saved themselves from death. They ran away to those forests practically leaving everything behind since it was a matter of life and death for them. Most of them lost all identification cards for widow pension, old age pension and even the very voter identity cards. When they came back after prolonged periods of time, quite a number among them also lost the place where the house was situated along with the other pieces of land along with all their documents. Special arrangements must be made to issue all such cards to those victims who are eligible."

The list of injustices that are still ongoing is long. During the pogroms the church of the Christian community from the village of Bakingia (Raikia) was destroyed. Then they started to rebuild it, but they were forced to stop work because of threats by radical Hindus. Just as more than two hundred children were forced to stop going to school.

Hence GCIC demands that a door-to-door survey be held in all the 12 blocks in order to ascertain the details about all the victims and the extent of damage and destruction they were subjected to. Among other things, “the economic situation of practically all the victims is still very bad in Kandhamal. It is difficult for some families even to have a square meal per day. Hence, free/subsidized rationing for the victims should be resumed. And the socio-economic boycott of Hindus against Christians "is playing havoc in the lives of the victims and it is affecting the normal life of the Christian minority in the region. Hence, strict measures must be taken both by the State as well as the Central Governments to put an end to these inhuman and barbaric methods of taking revenge against enemies". The economic boycott "is bleeding the Christians, who are unable to rebuild their damaged and destroyed homes and churches. The Orissa government should rebuild their houses. " (N.C.)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
09/15/2011 INDIA
Orissa State: demolition order for churches is revoked
by Nirmala Carvalho
06/07/2004 INDIA
Violence against Christians in Orissa still
05/04/2009 INDIA
US Commission for Religious Freedom to visit Orissa and Gujarat
by Nirmala Carvalho
09/19/2009 INDIA
Law against sectarian violence: Indian bishops, appreciate but with some doubts
by Nirmala Carvalho
09/04/2008 INDIA
Fr Edward, survivor of arson in Orissa: the Hindu radicals are terrorists
by Nirmala Carvalho

Editor's choices
ASIA
Vigil for persecuted Christians, our teachers in the mission in the West
by Bernardo CervelleraThe "wall of indifference and cynicism" and the silence and apathy so often denounced by Pope Francis have become almost a fortress. Such persecution reflects confessional manipulation, which slams Islam as such, and ideological manipulation, which forgets what is happening in North Korea or China. An increasingly post-Christian Europe seems disinterested in Christians.
RUSSIA – CHINA
Moscow Patriarchate: China authorises the ordination of Chinese Orthodox priests on its territory
by Marta AllevatoMetropolitan Hilarion, the Moscow Patriarchate’s ‘foreign minister’, made the announcement after a visit to China where he met the leaders of the State Administration for Religious Affairs. The first priest should serve in Harbin. Two more ordinations are expected. With a new Cold War as the background, the Moscow-Beijing strategic alliance also has a Church connection with the People's Republic recognising the latter’s 'political' role in Russia.
VATICAN
Pope: We and the four new saints, witnesses of the Resurrection "where forgetfulness of God and human disorientation are most evident "Francis proclaims four religious sisters saints: one French, one Italian, two Palestinians: Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, the foundress of the Sisters of the Rosary, and the Carmelite Maria of Crucified Jesus (nee Maria Bawardy). Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority present. "Abiding in Christ" and cultivating “unity among us" are essential signs of witness. Maria Bawardy, "instrument of encounter and communion with the Muslim world".

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.