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

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • About 1,500 Christians staged a protest in Lahore, Pakistan in June 2014 over the grabbing of church-owned property by the government of Punjab. Over ten large properties, including a church, schools, hospitals and graveyards, have been taken. Christian leaders met with the Lahore District Coordination Officer on 15 June to demand the return of the latest school to be seized, but when they failed to get a positive response, Christian protestors took to the streets. Pray that the provincial government will respect the property rights of the churches. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 3 hours ago

    • Praise God that Pakistan’s Supreme Court has instructed the government to take specific steps to protect religious minorities from violence and intolerance. The ruling was issued partly in response to the deadly attack on All Saints Church in Peshawar in September 2013, which claimed over 100 lives. The court ordered the formation of a National Council for Minority Rights, a special police force to protect places of worship, and a taskforce to develop strategies to counter intolerance, along with further corrective measures. Campaigners for the rights of Christians in Pakistan welcomed the moves but expressed reservations about whether they would be implemented. Pray that the measures will achieve a tangible improvement in the condition of the country’s Christians. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Loving Father, we cry out to You for the loved ones of ten Egyptian Christians who were murdered in Libya in February and March this year. We ask that You will bring your healing and peace to their families and friends and comfort their congregations in their loss. We pray for protection for Egyptian and other expatriate Christians in Libya and ask that their neighbours will not yield to requests by the militants to hand them over and get a reward in return. We pray that further Islamist attacks against Christians will be prevented and that the Libyan authorities will establish a greater measure of control over the country. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Aug 2014 00:00

    • Pray for Egyptian Christians who are leaving Libya in the face of growing violence against them. Many have gone there seeking work, but following the recent spate of killings, they are now fleeing. An Egyptian church leader has said that attacks and threats against Christians in the region are an attempt at “genocide”. Pray that what seems to be a targeted Islamist campaign to wipe Christians out of Libya will not succeed. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Aug 2014 00:00

    • A young Christian woman in Somalia was killed by a group of armed men who broke into her house in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, earlier this year. The assailants dragged her outside and shot at neighbours who tried to rescue her. Her parents were present when the attack took place. The Islamist group al-Shabaab has killed dozens of Christians since 2008, when it seized control of large parts of the country, and although it has now been driven from its strongholds, its deadly hostility to Christians is unrelenting. Pray for other Christian converts in Somalia as they face terror on every side (Psalm 31:13). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Aug 2014 00:00

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