Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Manipur Christian body slams eviction

IMPHAL: The All Manipur Christian Organization (Amco), while empathizing with the victims of the alleged forced eviction of 26 families and three churches from a locality here, has called upon the OkramIbobi Singh government to come up with a solution for the affected people. Amco is the umbrella body of various church organizations of the state.

The state government, with the purpose of setting up a five-star hotel, demolished the houses and the churches of Kabo Leikai a few days ago. Also known as the Naga river lane, Kabo Leikai is located adjacent to the state-run Hotel Imphal.

A joint action committee (JAC) set up against the eviction has decided not to accept any compensation from the government and instead demanded immediate reconstruction of the destroyed houses. The pressure group appealed to civil bodies, philanthropic organizations, human rights activists and well wishers to reach out to the victims.

It is learnt that the victims have already moved the court to restore their homesteads at Kabo Leikai. Some of the affected families are putting up at hotels, others at makeshift camps at the spot, while the remaining are taking shelter at their relatives and friends' houses, Amco informed.

"The government's move of evicting the people from Kabo Leikai reflects its insensitivity, if not of arrogance," Amco said in a statement, adding, "Enough time should've been given by the government to the victims to ensure they get compensation or relocation assistance even if the eviction was inevitable."

Amco said the government served a notice on May 18 and asked the people to shift out the following day, which was a Sunday. The eviction drive was on May 20. This reflects the government's unsympathetic attitude and religious intolerance, Amco said. "The eviction drive was carried out despite fervent pleas by the victims to give them a few more days," the statement added.

Amco alleged that the state government demolished three churches but left the shrine of another religion in the same area untouched. "It is unbecoming of the government to show such open discrimination against a religious group when we live in secular country," the statement said.

Click HERE for source

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Two more held in Staines case

The CBI on Friday arrested two more persons in the case of the killing of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two minor sons in Odisha’s Keonjhar district in January 1999.

Ghanshyam Mahanta and Ranjan Mahanta were arrested from their village in Keonjhar by CBI sleuths and brought to Bhubaneswar, where they were produced before a designated CBI court, which remanded them in CBI custody for three days.

Staines and his two sons, Philip and Timothy, were burnt alive on the night of January 22, 1999 by a mob while they were asleep in their station wagon at Manoharpur village.

As many as 18 persons, including the main accused Dara Singh, were arrested while three were still absconding. With the arrest of the two on Friday, one more person is still at large.

A Bhubaneswar court awarded the death sentence to Dara Singh and life imprisonment to 12 others in 2003.

The Orissa High Court subsequently commuted Dara Singh’s death sentence to life imprisonment in 2005. It retained life imprisonment for Mahendra Hembram and acquitted 11 others.

The Supreme Court upheld the Orissa High Court order in 2011.

Click HERE for source

Monday, May 13, 2013

Orissa: 5 years after anti-Christian pogrom, little justice for victims

Five years after an anti-Christian pogrom in the eastern Indian state of Orissa left 100 dead and over 50,000 homeless, justice has been denied to victims because of police inaction and the intimidation of witnesses, according to John Dayal, the lay Catholic journalist who serves as secretary-general of the All India Christian Council.

According to Dayal, Christians in Orissa have filed 3,232 criminal complaints, of which only 1,541 were accepted by police and only 828 resulted in a police “first information report.” Trials followed in 327 cases, which resulted in 169 judicial acquittals affecting 1,597 defendants. In another 86 trials, defendants were convicted of minor offenses.

Acquittals “often occur because the key witnesses are threatened, intimidated, or afraid,” the Fides news agency reported.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

Hindu extremists attack Bible College in Kerala

New Hope Bible College, Palunda, was organising their annual Bible convention on 11th April 2013. While the meeting was on, a group of about 150 persons belonging to Hindu Aikyavedi, a Hindu fundamentalist organisation barged into the meeting venue and started attacking the believers and organisers.

They were accusing the organisers of forcefully converting backward community people to Christianity and instructed the organisers to send back the believers belonging to the backward community. The police team from Nilambur lead by Circle Inspector Mr. P Chandran reached the place and had discussions with the attackers and the organisers. After discussion, the organisers agreed to send back the people as demanded by the radical Hindus.

After reaching the agreement with the organisers, the Hindu radicals started attacking the press photographer Mr Rajesh of local channel “Swantham”. The police intervened and rescued Mr Rajesh. He was then taken to a private hospital in Chungathara and was later shifted to another private hospital in Nilambur.

After sending Mr Rajesh to the hospital, the police then started to send the believers to wayanad, the Hindu radicals started stoning the bus and damaged the glasses. The police had to resort to a mild lathi charge to control the situation.

Source : GCIC

Islamist group tells Christian missionaries: leave Kashmir or ‘suffer the consequences’

A spokesman for the United Jihad Council, a militant Islamist organization, said that Christian missionaries must leave the northern Indian region of Kashmir or “suffer the consequences.”

97% of Kashmir’s population is Muslim.

“Christian missionaries are exploiting poor and needy people by offering them financial packages for changing their religion,” charged Syed Sadaqat Hussain.

“Islam is the religion of peace and harmony that provides complete protection to minorities,” he added. “However, [the] anti-Islam activities of a few people cannot be tolerated.”

Click HERE for source

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Priest attacked and beaten in Pune

Father Wilson Patole seeks police protection to avoid future attacks.

Priest Pune

A priest and several people gathered for prayers were beaten up by a mob of 20-25 people on the premises of a church in Pimprigaon on Sunday. Protesting against the church that has recently come up in the area, the mob allegedly asked the priest to close down the place and move elsewhere with immediate effect. The priest has demanded police security to counter any future attack.

The incident occurred around 6 pm on Sunday and a complaint was lodged by the priest late in the evening with Pimpri police chowky.

Father Wilson Patole, 48, was left with a swollen eye after a man punched him on the face "several times". He also suffered bruises on his shoulders. After targeting Patole, the mob attacked the rest of the around 40-50 people who had gathered at the church for evening prayers. The mob reportedly left after the priest called up the police, who arrived 15 minutes later.

"Around 6 pm, the mob barged into the church premises and smashed the banners put up inside. At that time, prayers were going on. The mob then stood outside the church premises," said Father Patole, adding: "They called us at the gate of the church for discussion. As soon as we reached there, they started beating us up. They were not carrying sticks or arms."

Father Patole said the mob was demanding that the prayer be stopped and the church closed down. "They did not give us any notice. If they do not want us here, they should have told us. We would have moved out," he said.

Father Patole alleged that though there were 20-25 people who attacked them, the Pimpri police lodged complaint against only two. "First they refused to lodge a complaint. Then they lodged a complaint against only two persons," he said.

Father Patole said: "We are seeking action in the matter so that such attacks do not occur in future. We do not want revenge. We are peace-loving people. The police should not arrest the persons involved, but only take deterrent action."

When contacted, DCP Shahaji Umap said: "A non-cognisable offence against two persons has been registered with the Pimpri police. We have not arrested them, but have taken preventive action."

As for providing security, Umap said: "If the priest approaches us, we will take appropriate step in the matter. There is nothing political in this...the local people were objecting to the church coming up in their area."

Click HERE for source