02/15/2011, 00.00
INDIA
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Orissa: Church gets local government to compensate pogrom victims

by Santosh Digal
Kandhamal authorities set to spend US$ 370,000 to rebuild homes destroyed in 2008 anti-Christian violence. Mediation by the local Church was crucial in organising a meeting between victims and district authorities.

Bhubaneswar (AsiaNews) – Authorities in Kandhamal District (Orissa) have said they would allocate US$ 370,000 to rebuild houses destroyed by Hindu extremists during anti-Christian pogroms in August 2008. The decision was made possible by the mediation of local Church leaders who organised a meeting between 31 representatives of local victims and District Collector K. Krishnen.

Reconstruction will be especially important for the village of Pirigad, where the Church complained about faulty government survey, undercounting of housing units involved and homes left half-built.

Br K J Markose, a Monfort missionary involved in helping pogrom victims, said it took 12 visits by a local leader and 4 visits by himself to get the authorities to meet the families. “Thanks to the mediation, people will be able to finish their homes.”

Also through the mediation of the Church, which has pledged financial aid, the local government will help reconstruction in the villages of Pipudidei and Badabanda, which are in the Tikabali block, one of the remotest areas of the district.

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