» 05/04/2013, 00.00
Orissa: 7 innocent Christians still in prison, victims of sham trials
Phulbani Fast Track Court judge closes his court and assigns the case to a sessions court. It may take another year to conclude trial. The seven are charged with the murder of a Hindu leader, who launched the anti-Christian pogroms of 2008. The Maoists have always claimed responsibility for the assassination.
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - For the
umpteenth time, the Phulbani Fast Track Court judge has postponed the hearing
of the way for the release of seven
innocent Christians, accused without any evidence of the murder of the
Hindu leader Laxamananada, whose death in 2008 triggered the
violent pogroms in Orissa. The new session
is scheduled for May 22. They
have thus far spent four and a half years in the prisons of Kandhamal victims
of sham trials, despite the fact that the Maoists
have always claimed responsibility for the assassination.
The hearing that the seven
Christians and their families have been waiting for was scheduled on April 1
day, however, the judge announced that his court was closed, and that the case had
been passed into the hands of a regular Session Court. The
Fast Track Courts are special courts, which were established after the pogroms
in Orissa to try to speed up the judicial process.
in the hands of a Session Court, the case could suffer further delays. When
they were created, these courts were intended to quickly conclude a trial:
listening to the sides involved one day after another. But
the procedural loopholes and a backlog of other cases have transformed
proceedings into continuous referrals, bogging the entire Indian judicial
system in an almost inextricable way.
Convinced that the day had come
to embrace their husbands, six of the seven wives along with their children
went to the pastoral center Konjamendi, which provides assistance and support to Christian
prisoners and their families. Thus,
on March 18 these women and 12 boys and girls met pastors Prasan Pradhan,
Sushant Pradhan and Sunil Parichha, Sajan George - president of the Global Council of Indian Christians
(GCIC) - and brother Markos. Together
they traced the moments of the arrest of their men and then prayed together. The
next day, the religious leaders accompanied all of them to Phulbani prison, to
visit their husbands. At
the end of the day, the pastors accompanied the families to their homes to
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