08/04/2011, 00.00
INDIA
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Orissa Police "complicit" in the death of a pastor. Demands for immediate re-trial

by Nirmala Carvalho
For the police it was "accidental death". Sajan K George, National President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), demands a comprehensive report on what happened and asks the court to transfer the investigation elsewhere.
Bhubaneswar (AsiaNews) - The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) has asked the Balliguda (Orissa) court to transfer the investigation into the murder of a Protestant pastor Michael Nayak elsewhere, after the dismissal of the case as an "accident". "The police in Kandhamal continues to be an accomplice to the murder of innocent Christians - Sajan K George, National President of GCIC told AsiaNews - calling murder 'accidental death''. Michael Nayak - at first reported as Michael Digal - disappeared July 20 last. On the discovery of the body, July 28, the police failed to open an investigation and immediately closed the case. Not only that a law enforcement official threatened the victim's brother, who went to the police officer to demand the reopening of the investigation.

To substantiate its demand, the GCIC has presented a detailed report on what happened to Nayak. According to the report, the total absence of bruises or abrasions, except for a deep wound behind the neck, evidence that it was not an accident.

"This latest case of denied justice - continues Sajan George - is compounded by the fact that we are approaching the third anniversary of the brutal and terrible genocide of Kandhamal. The violence in that August 2008 were part of an orchestrated conspiracy (by Hindu extremists, ed), which Orissa fully supported ". For the president of the GCIC, the lack of protection and rehabilitation of victims, along with continued indifference of the police, are "a tacit agreement and a clear sign of complicity with those attacks."

The activist then recalls the case of Saul Pradhan, another Protestant pastor who disappeared last January 10 and was found dead a few days later. Even then, despite the fact that the wounds were a clear sign of murder, the police closed the case as "accidental death".

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