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 .
Justice still eludes Christian victims o...

Email:

Justice still eludes Christian victims of Orissa violence

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

Justice still eludes Christian victims of Orissa violence

Country/Region: India, South and East Asia

Nearly three years after the vicious attacks by Hindu radicals in Orissa left dozens of Christians dead and thousands injured, there has been just one conviction for murder, with thousands of complaints disregarded by the authorities.

Christian-shop-Burnt_4X3.jpg
Christian villages in Kandhamal were destroyed by Hindu extremists

A devastating report by a Christian journalist and human rights activist about the Indian authorities' investigations into the mass violence in Kandhamal between August and October 2008 exposes how justice has eluded the Christian victims.

The Orissa State government acknowledges 52 deaths - of whom 38 were Christians - in Kandhamal during that period and the earlier violence at the end of 2007. But the report says:

There has been no attempt by the Directorate of Prosecutions or by the police to upgrade cases where victims died of their injuries not on the spot, but in hospital, refugee camps or other places... This has prevented a large number of cases from being recorded as murder.

Church activists list 91 murder cases, which includes the 38 Christians who died at the scene, plus 41 who later died of injuries sustained in the violence and 12 who died in police action.

In 20 cases brought to date, there has been just one conviction for murder.

Mass violence and vandalism

Around 18,000 people were injured in the attacks and 6,000 houses and 296 churches and smaller places of Christian worship were burnt in 400 villages. Over 56,000 people were displaced, and over 10,000 are yet to return home. Around 1,000 have been warned that they can come back only if they convert to Hinduism.

After the attacks subsided in October 2008, 3,232 criminal complaints relating to murder, abduction, violence and arson were filed. Of these, 1,541 are acknowledged by Kandhamal district police, but only 828 were converted to First Information Reports (FIR), which mark the beginning of further investigation and the case being brought for trial.

Only 327 cases have reached the courts, resulting in 169 acquittals and 86 convictions, but not for the most serious crimes mentioned in the FIRs, rather for comparatively minor ones meriting prison terms of just two or three years; 90 cases are still being tried.

A total of 1,597 suspects have been acquitted; this does not include the thousands who could not be arrested and therefore could not be brought to trial.

Statements from jurists who have seen the case records reveal "grave lapses" on the part of the Investigating Officer, Public Prosecutor and the Trial Judge. These include the failure to obtain statements from eye witnesses and not properly cross-examining or questioning hostile witnesses. They said that in several judgements the trial judge had sufficient material showing the participation and identification of the accused persons in an unlawful assembly, "the object of which was to cause inter alia homicidal death of the victims".

Christians who were affected by the violence in Orissa are still picking up the pieces of their shattered lives, and Barnabas Aid is continuing to support them through a variety of home rebuilding, vocational training and business start-up projects.

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Justice still eludes Christian victims of Orissa violence

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
    • “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also,” said the Lord Jesus (John 15:20). According to the Pew Centre for Research, Christians face religious oppression in 151 of the world’s countries, whether direct or indirect. On this Barnabas Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, let us remember our brothers and sisters facing tremendous pressures of all kinds because of their faithfulness to Christ and help them with our prayers (Philippians 1:19). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 7 hours ago

    • Hardline Buddhist groups in Sri Lanka are becoming increasingly militant, and in two recent incidents Christians were hospitalised with injuries sustained in mob violence. The General Secretary of one such group, Ravana Balaya, which launched an anti-Christian campaign on 15 July, said they would “advise” Christians to halt their activities but, if the Christians failed to take heed, the group would take firmer action. Pray for Christians in Sri Lanka who face opposition from their neighbours, and ask God to protect them from further violence as they seek to maintain their witness (Acts 4:19-20). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Since General al-Sisi became President of Egypt in June, Christians in the country have felt the pressure upon them ease off somewhat. However, a convert from Islam, Bishoy Armia Boulous, previously known as Mohammed Hegazy, remains in prison. He was rearrested on 4 December 2013, charged with defaming Islam after he fi led a public lawsuit to change the religious affiliation listed on his national identification card from Muslim to Christian. Please pray that there will be genuine religious liberty for Christians from a Muslim background as well as those born into Christian families. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Lift up in prayer Christians living in Minya, Egypt whose homes were attacked on 5 August by local Muslims. The violence broke out after Muslims learned that believers in Yaacoub planned to build a new church. Opposition to construction of church buildings is one of the most common reasons behind anti-Christian attacks Scores of Egyptian churches were attacked following the removal of Mohammed Morsi by Muslims in Egypt. Restrictions on the building of churches, a cause of hardship for Christians for many years, were lifted in Egypt’s recent new constitution. Pray that the assailants will be brought to justice and that the plans for the local church building will continue. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that ten Egyptian churches destroyed in anti-Christian attacks last year have now been reopened. Around 60 churches across Egypt were attacked by Islamists in the summer of 2013. The assaults were provoked by the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the current Egyptian government has promised to rebuild all the damaged churches, most of the Christians have not yet received aid and some are worshipping in ruined buildings. Pray that the rebuilding process will continue and that the Lord will protect His people in Egypt, especially while they are still meeting in damaged buildings. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Oct 2014 00:00

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