Barnabas Aid - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Indian court reopens church leader murde...

Email:

Indian court reopens church leader murder case dismissed by police

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Indian court reopens church leader murder case dismissed by police

Country/Region: India, South and East Asia

A court in India has reopened the case of a murdered church leader, ordering that the killers be brought to justice after police had dismissed his death as a road accident.

The court in Baliguda, Kandhamal district, Orissa state, ruled on 7 August that Michael Nayak, who was aged around 40, was killed by Hindu extremists in July 2011. It also ordered an inquiry into the actions of the police officers who misled the initial investigation.

Victims of anti-Christian violence in India are often denied justice
Victims of anti-Christian violence in India are often denied justice

The development has been welcomed by the Christian community, who are often denied justice and feel that the police are complicit in acts of violence against them by failing to take action against the perpetrators.

Michael's body was found lying by the side of a road near the village of Mondakia; the only wound was a hole below the ear that was bleeding. Police said that the pastor had lost control of his motorbike and fallen in a ditch. But Michael's family did not think that the condition of both his body and his vehicle were consistent with this explanation and were convinced that he had been murdered; the pastor had no cuts or bruises, and there was only minimal damage to the bike.

His brother Daniel said at the time:

"The glass of the headlight came out, not even broken, and the gear shifter was damaged, otherwise the bike is in good condition. I refuse to accept the police version that he could not turn his bike at the bend of the road and fell down. In fact even his spectacles were not broken."

The evening before, two of Michael's Hindu friends had come to his village and asked him for a lift home. The church leader willingly took the pair on his motorbike, leaving at 8.30pm, and was never seen alive again.

The Global Council of Indian Christians is now calling for five other similar cases in the region that were registered by the police as accidental deaths to be reinvestigated.

One of them, which Christian activist KG Markose said "bore a startling resemblance" to Michael's death, is that of another church leader, Saul Pradhan, whose body was found near a pond in Pakala village on 11 January 2011. The pastor had likewise been taken away from his house by two Hindu friends the night before. Police attributed Saul's death to exposure.

Christians in Kandhamal have suffered extensive persecution, most notably at Christmas 2007 and between August and October 2008 when Hindu extremists attacked Christians and their property in hundreds of villages. Around 90 Christians were killed, many thousands injured and over 56,000 displaced by the violence. Justice has eluded most of the victims. 

 

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Indian court reopens church leader murder case dismissed by police

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • “We had this feeling that jihadists wanted to wipe out any trace of Christianity in the north of Mali. But God in His goodness has not allowed such an eventuality,” said Dr Yattara, the president of the Baptist Church in northern Mali, to World Watch Monitor in September. He was describing how most of the Christians who had fled the region when Islamist radicals took control in 2012 have now returned to their homes after French troops ousted the Islamists. Many church buildings were desecrated, looted or severely damaged, but the Christians are determined to resume their ministries. Praise God for the continued Christian presence in northern Mali, for the courage of the Christians and for the religious liberty that they have under the law. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 2 hours ago

    • Pray for the friends and family of Beatrice Mukashaka, an 18-year-old Christian woman, who was hacked to death in a savage attack by Muslims during an overnight prayer meeting at a church in Uganda. A group of around 20 Christians had gathered at the church in Kyegegwa district for their regular Friday night prayer session when armed Muslims burst into the building at around 2am. Please pray for all who mourn for Beatrice and that the assailants will be brought to justice. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Churches in Christian-majority Burundi are facing the unfamiliar situation of political restriction by their own government because of a new law passed in August that requires each church to have at least 500 members and a proper building. Congregations have a year in which to comply with the new regulations. Although intended to reduce some scandalous practices, the law is strangely reminiscent of the strict regimes of Central Asia. Pray that religious liberty will be maintained in Burundi, both for Christians and for the small minorities who follow other religions. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Pray for eight Cameroonian missionaries who have been harshly reminded of the cost of sharing the Gospel in their country during a training seminar to equip them for ministry. Barnabas had helped to fund a series of seminars, and on the final day of the last seminar they heard that Jean-Marcel Kesvere, another Cameroonian missionary, who had been planning to attend the seminar with his wife, had been kidnapped by Boko Haram and that his body had been found earlier that day. Give thanks for the response of the missionaries, who expressed their willingness to suffer similarly for Christ, and pray that their work will bear much fruit (John 12:24). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Please pray for Christians in northern Cameroon, where Boko Haram is terrorising people, especially Christians and security forces, just as in neighbouring Nigeria. The Islamist militants openly declare themselves to be Boko Haram, and issue threats by letter, including to pastors telling them they must leave. Two pastors were killed in the village of Assigashia on the night of 25-26 August, hich has caused great distress and consternation. The Cameroonian Christians ask for prayer that God will bring peace and security, that the kidnapped will be released, that believers will stand firm despite being targeted, that God will comfort the traumatised, and that church leaders will know how to prepare their people for persecution. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Aid 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Aid is a registered trade mark