Not enough money for the victims of the Kandhamal pogroms
by Nirmala Carvalho

In Delhi, the Church held the first national consultation for the victims of anti-Christian violence of 2008. At least 6,495 people were arrested in connection with the pogroms, but so far only 78 have been convicted. A total of 4,822 houses were a total or partial loss, whilst 232 churches were damaged.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – Real justice for the victims in Kandhamal requires "more human and financial resources,” says Fr Dibakar Parichha, secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Archdiocese of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar.

“There are more than 320 cases,” he told AsiaNews. “People must not be deprived of justice. More coordinated efforts would help victims more."

Ten years after Hindu radicals engaged in sectarian violence in Kandhamal, the Indian Catholic Church organised the first national consultation on Christian Victims in Delhi.

Participants included the Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, Mgr John Barwa, who is continuing the struggle for justice and fair compensation for the dead and destroyed property undertaken by his predecessor, Mgr Raphael Cheenath.

According to the data provided by the Commission, there are 827 registered cases, 512 formal complaints, and 362 completed case trials.

At least 6,495 people have been arrested in connection with the violence, but only 78 have been convicted. About 150 trials are still pending before the courts.

With respect to material losses by Christians and the Church, the Commission reports 1,506 destroyed houses and 3,316 damaged, for a total of 4,822. Some 21 public offices suffered damages as did 232 churches.