Saturday, May 03, 2014

Christians in Orissa suffer abuse and intimidation

Christians in Orissa who survived the violence in 2008 cannot find peace and are still victims of abuse and intimidation, Catholic priest Fr Ajay Kumar Singh, stated this week. Fr Singh, who received an award for his work among the victims of the 2008 pogroms in Kandhamal in Orissa, said that recently the police arrested and then released three people accused of having destroyed the home of a Christian family who survived the massacres of 2008.
Praful Digal, a Catholic from the village of Budruka, had rebuilt his home thanks to aid received by the government for the reconstruction. Radical Hindu groups attacked the new house, razed it to the ground. Fr Pradosh Kumar Nayak, Rector of the Minor Seminary of St Paul in Balliguda near Budruka confirmed that the attack had taken place. After the family filed a complaint, the police arrested Sudershan Mallick, Pabitra Mallick and Mallick Nageswar, but the three were inexplicably released.
Fr Nayak pointed put that this is the third house the Digal family have built over the past six years. Hindu radicals have demolished all of them.
"The last demolition shows that these groups are strong and determined to keep Christians out of the country. Christians continue to lead a terrible life in Kandhamal district" Fr Nayak said.
The Digal family was among the 834 whose homes was destroyed in the first round of anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal which took place in December 2007. The family took courage, returned to the village and rebuilt the house, which was again destroyed in the violence in August 2008. After years of exile, in recent months and after having received compensation from the government, the Digal decided to return to their village again and start a normal life. But this new attack has shattered their hopes.
Fr Singh said : "The State has failed to protect and guarantee the basic rights to Christian citizens in Orissa".
Source: Fides