Sajan George: Stop anti-Christian violence in Orissa now
by Nirmala Carvalho
Yesterday evening, two Christian leaders arrested, accused of having links with Maoists and proselytizing. In 2011, three pastors were assassinated. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) is launching an appeal to the chief minister of the State: "Kandhamal is the realm of anti-Christian persecution in India."
Mumbai (AsiaNews) - "The chief minister of Orissa must intervene and stop the continuing violence against innocent Christians in Kandhamal district, the whole world now perceives it as the reign of the anti-Christian persecution in India." This is the appeal of Sajan K George, President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), after the arrest of two Christian personalities, which took place last night in different areas of Kandhamal district. In addition, GCIC recalls the murders of three Christian leaders in 2011, in which the police tried to hide the truth.
Yesterday, at 4.30 am (local time), the police stopped Baliguda Junus Pradhan, president of the NGO Jana Kalyan Samaj Christians; accused of links with local Naxal Maoists. A few hours earlier, police had arrested the pastor Raikia Sukadeb Digal, of the Baptist Church Danekbadi for alleged proselytizing and forced conversions of Hindus.
Of the three assassinations mentioned by the president of the GCIC, the most recent is that of Christian activist Rabindra Parichha, who bled to death after his throat was slit by unknown assailants on December 15, 2011. At the time of his discovery, which occurred in the town of Bhanjanagar, the had also been body shot in the abdomen.
Pastor Saul Pradhan was the first Christian killed in 2011 (January 10 last year). According to the reconstruction of Raikia police, the man would have frozen to death for sleeping outside in the cold, after consuming an overdose of alcohol.
On 26 July, another murder has shocked the Christian community in Kandhamal. The body of Pastor Michael Digal was found in an obvious state of decomposition near Mdikia (Baliguda). At first, the local police had branded the case as "accidental", following a fall from his motorcycle. Thanks to the pressure of the GCIC, the investigators continued the investigation and admitted the death by murder, probably for reasons of revenge by radical Hindus. Digal had in fact testified in court in a case of violence that occurred during the anti-Christian pogroms of 2008. (See 28/07/2011, “Christian leaded found dead in Kandhamal, Sajan George accuses Hindu radicals " and 29/07/2011, " Hindu radical kills Christian who had testified in court in a Kandhamal pogrom-related case ")
"The real tragedy - reaffirms Sajan George - is the absolute lack of justice in similar cases. Neither the police nor the institutions take steps to stop the climate of intolerance and impunity created by Hindu nationalists. At Christmas, many Christians were afraid that something might happen. "