- A verdict that clearly shows "the connivance and support of public
officials of the deliberate violence by Hindu fundamentalists", says Sajan
George, president of the Global Council
of Indian Christians (GCIC), commenting to AsiaNews on the Cuttack Court
judgment on the case of Sister Meena Barwa, raped and humiliated by a
dozen people during the pogroms in Kandhamal (Orissa), in 2008.
Nine men were tried for the violence committed against the woman religious however, the courts convicted only three of them, giving fully acquitting the other six. A tenth person identified by the victim was never arrested. "We are shocked and dismayed by the light verdict delivered today by the Cuttack District Sessions Court" - stated Sajan George - "It is really a travesty of justice. The nun was attacked, gang-raped and paraded semi-naked through the streets in Kandhamal district of Odisha which incident had indeed shaken up the conscience of the entire nation. The whole incident was published in almost all the newspapers in the country with very clear details".
In this sense, says the president of the GCIC, "the court verdict clearly shows the callousness of the prosecution in the horrendous sexual assault, the failure at various levels, including documenting, reporting, investigating, charging and prosecuting the cases, is abundantly clear from the verdict". According to Sajan George the case "clearly indicates an institutional prejudice against the Christian community. Minimizing sexual violence against women is a deliberate dereliction of constitutionally mandated duties and violates constitutional guarantees".