A Christian delegation has met the members of the European Union (EU) in Orissa to apprise them of the situation of the community five years after the anti-Christian violence in the eastern state.
6-member delegation, including human rights activists, met Joao
Cravinho, ambassador of EU, Janos Terenyi, ambassador of embassy of
Hungary, Feilim McLaughlin, ambassador of embassy of Ireland and Miloslav
Stasek, ambassador of embassy of Czech Republic on Dec. 2.
have come to understand the issues of the vulnerable and marginalized
groups and the status of minority communities,” Fr. Ajay Singh, who was
part of the Indian delegation, told ucanews.com today.
said the EU delegation wanted to know the situation of the religious
freedom in the state after the 2008 anti-Christian violence and also
about the compensation and justice given to the victims of the communal
The delegation also presented a report to the EU
members, highlighting the crisis in the criminal justice dispensation
system and police investigations in the mass violence against Christians
in Kandhamal district of the state.
In a seven-week rampage that
began on August 25, 2008, groups of fanatic Hindus burned Christian
homes, churches and convents, killing some 100 people and displacing at
Several women were raped, including a Catholic nun.
have been extremely unhappy and dissatisfied with both the relief and
the rehabilitation process of the government and the pace and quality of
the criminal justice dispensation system, including the police
investigations,” said John Dayal, member of the national integration
council, in the report submitted to the EU delegation.
was also part of the Christian delegation, said that the community has
filed Public Interest Litigations in the Supreme Court of India
demanding better relief and rehabilitation and retrial of murder cases.
report also noted that those who lost their jobs have not been
rehabilitated or compensated, nor children compensated for trauma and
“The government’s package for constructing
houses was meager and people would have remained without a roof if it
were not for the assistance of church organizations which gave the bulk
of the money for the houses and for helping families start a new life,”
It brought to the notice of the EU delegation that
there has been just one conviction for murder during the violence and
most culprits have got away scot free.
Judicial Enquiry commissions have after five years not yet given their
reports. The Fast track courts were been wound up on 31st March, 2013,
and local Courts in Kandhamal are now trying the cases,” it added.
EU members also met Archbishop John Burwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, other
civil society groups and government officials on the issues.
would prepare a report on the data that they have gathered from us.
They said that they would visit early next year to get stock of the
latest situation,” said Fr. Santosh Digal, spokesperson of