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    » 02/24/2010, 00.00

    INDIA

    Orissa, "there is no justice for Christians"

    Nirmala Carvalho

    The President of the Global Council of Indian Christians, Sajan K George, complains: "No legal aid, no more money, not even a house for victims of religious violence. The government must intervene, before it's too late. "

    Udaigiri (AsiaNews) – “Christians in the district of Kandhamal are still the innocent victims of intimidation and violence. The government does nothing to help their rehabilitation, after the religious violence in 2008, and they continue to live in fear. On the other hand, the thousands  of complaints filed against assailants have served no purpose: the perpetrators of the massacre still roam freely across the State of Orissa”.

    This is the charge of President of the Global Council of Indian Christians, Sajan K George, who has been following the situation of persecuted Christians in India for years. The Council, which unites Catholics and Protestants, provides legal and material aid to the population affected by  persecution.

    Speaking yesterday to local media, George added: "We need a system that helps the faithful to return to normal life. They need a job and a house, given that in order to avoid death, the inhabitants of  14 villages were forced to flee their homes and now live in tents. The government must intervene, to see justice is done”.

    The violence erupted in Kandhamal district in the summer of 2008, resulting in casualties among both the clergy and the faithful. The false charge of proselytism was used to destroy Churches and schools run by local Christians, who were then forced by the Hindu community to abandon their homeland to seek refuge elsewhere.

    During the clashes 5347 houses were destroyed and 75 people lost their lives in the name of their religion or ethnicity. Over 50 thousand people were forced to emigrate, becoming refugees in their homeland. Immediately after the riots, the victims lodged 3232 complaints in different police stations in the district. Of these only 832 were accepted: 89 persons were sentenced to minor penalties, while other 251 were released immediately.

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    See also

    09/07/2009 INDIA
    Orissa spending 4 million rupees to rebuild churches
    Money will go to rehabilitate 196 buildings, churches and places of worship belonging to various Christian denominations in Kandhamal District. The Global Council of Indian Christians wants compensation for victims and protection for witnesses in trials against Hindu extremists.

    20/02/2009 INDIA
    Orissa: violence continues, another Christian killed
    Hrudayananda Nayak, 40, disappeared Wednesday evening. His lifeless body was found in the forest near the village of Rudangia whose residents are predominantly Christian. Eyewitnesses say that a group of Hindu extremists stopped him on his way home. This is the third murder since October after widespread anti-Christian violence in August and September of last year.

    11/11/2008 INDIA
    Orissa bishops call on government to rebuild churches by Christmas
    The request is made in a letter addressed to the state’s chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, to help things get back to normal. However, violence and forced re-conversion to Hinduism are still taking place in the state, generating fear and terror. The bishops call on the central government to continue the deployment of special forces in the state until after the upcoming election which is scheduled for 9 April next year.

    29/08/2009 INDIA
    Orissa, acquitted for lack of evidence one of the brains behind anti-Christian pogrom
    Charges of arson against Manoj Pradhan, one of 14 charges against him, are dropped. BJP leader and elected to the legislature of Orissa, he is accused of killing 7 Christians. Activists denounce the inaction of the administration in punishing those responsible for crimes.

    30/08/2008 INDIA
    Orissa: thousands of refugees and new victims, massacre of Christians continues
    At least 10,000 people are asking for help at the shelters, while just as many are seeking refuge in the forests to escape the violence of the Hindu fundamentalists. According to "reliable sources" presented by a Christian activist, there are "at least 100 dead".



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