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
    • “This is a war against Christians and democracy and their constitution. Allah says we should finish them when we get them.” The leader of the Nigerian Islamist militant group Boko Haram was speaking in a video that reasserted their agenda and addressed “the people of the world”, saying, “Either you are with us Mujahedeen or you are with the Christians.” The translation of the video was released as scores of people were killed in suicide bombings in May, including at least 118 in a double attack in Jos, Plateau state on 20 May. Pray that Boko Haram’s murderous campaign to establish an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria will not succeed. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 9 hours ago

    • Pray for Bible school students in Vietnam who were subjected to a terrifying night-time raid by police and hired thugs. On 9 June, officers swooped from adjacent rooftops into the church compound that houses the school, while vehicle-loads of people were brought to the site to vandalise the building with bricks, stones and sticks. The students were beaten, punched and kicked before being taken away for interrogation; 20 were left in need of medical attention but were prevented from leaving to find it. Thugs continued to attack the compound over the next ten nights. Pray for the students as they recover from this brutal assault and that they will stand firm in their faith in the face of intimidation. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Aug 2014 00:00

    • In an earlier incident in Saisomboon village, three teenage Christian girls were disqualified from taking their final school examinations because of their faith. The village chief said that in following Christianity, Noi (15), Net (15) and Nut (14) had forfeited their right to education. Five families from the village have now converted to Christianity. A spokesman for Human Rights Watch for Lao Religious Freedom expressed the view that the authorities were trying to find every possible way “to stop the spread of Christian religious freedom in the area”. Pray that the girls will be allowed to complete their education and that opposition to the Christians in the village will cease. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Five Christians have been charged with murder in Laos after a sick woman sought prayer at her local church, converted to Christianity and later died. Mrs Chan, from Saisomboon village in Savannakhet province, had been ill for two years when she approached the church. Her health improved for a short time, and she and her eight grown-up children came to faith in Christ. The sons and daughters wanted a Christian burial ceremony, but the authorities forbade this unless they renounced their faith, which they refused to do. When Christians in the area protested, five were arrested and subsequently charged with Mrs Chan’s murder. Pray that the God of justice will have compassion on His people (Isaiah 30:18) and ensure their acquittal from this false accusation. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Aug 2014 00:00

    • A Christian from Loynam village in the Savannakhet province of Laos was arrested on the morning of 29 May and tied to a post before being imprisoned. Two weeks earlier, police and village security officers had gone to Mr Sort’s home and threatened him with eviction from the village and confiscation of all his property if he did not give up his faith. He refused, despite repeated attempts to coerce him. The village chief then seized around £300 of Mr Sort’s money. Give thanks that our brother, who has been a Christian for less than two years, has stood firm in his faith, and ask the Lord to renew his courage and strength (1 Corinthians 16:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Aug 2014 00:00

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