Orissa pogroms: India's justice system is "criminal", Christian leader says
by Nirmala Carvalho
A court in Phulbani sentenced seven innocent Christians to life in prison, whilst acquitting yesterday five people up on arson charges. In both cases, there was no evidence against the defendants. For Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians, the Orissa pogroms are "sadly unique, for their violence and their total lack of justice."
Five acquitted in Kandhamal riot case for lack of evidence.Seven Christians convicted for life without evidence by the same officials.Prosecution is undermining the cases against radicals involved in the attacks against Christians.
Phulbani (Odisha), Oct 9 -Five persons were today acquitted by a local court here for lack of evidence against them in a house burning case during 2008 communal riots in Kandhamal in Odisha.
High legal cost, delay in the process and witnesses turning hostile are major reasons for dropping the cases
Five years after a devastating wave of anti-Christian violence rocked the eastern state of Orissa, victims are beginning to give up the pursuit of justice through the legal system.The seven-week rampage by Hindu extremists, centered around Orissa's Kandhamal district, took place in 2008. As many as 100 Christians were killed and many women were raped, including a Catholic nun. Hundreds of houses were burnt down, as were 95 churches and several orphanages.
Centre for Sustainable Use of Social and Natural Resources (CSNR), Bhubaneswar and Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN), Delhi, launched a report: Unjust Compensation: Assessment of Damage and Loss of Private Property during the Anti-Christian Violence in Kandhamal, India using the HLRN ‘Eviction Impact Assessment Tool’ today, 7 June 2013, at Red Cross Bhawan, Bhubaneswar.
The report was released by Mr Miloon Kothari, former UN Special Rapporteur on adequate housing. The panel also consisted of Mr Dhirendra Panda, Secretary, CSNR, Ms Shivani Chaudhry, Associate Director, HLRN, Mr Prafulla Samantaray and Father Nicholas Barla, human rights activists.