Sunday, May 19, 2013

Court Again Cancels Hearing of Falsely Accused Christians in Orissa

The lack of justice here sickens me. I pray that justice will be properly executed in the future

05/19/2013 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – After being falsely imprisoned for four and a half years in the murder case of a Hindu nationalist leader in eastern Orissa state, the hearing of seven Christian men has been delayed again, raising doubts over the authorities’ apathetic and indifferent attitude towards the minority in the region.

In 2008, the murder of Swami Laxmanananda triggered off violent pogroms against Christians in Orissa, during which more than 600 villages were ransacked, 5,600 houses in 415 villages were looted and set on fire, 54,000 people were left homeless and at least 38 people were murdered.

Underground militant Maoists openly took responsibility for the crime, but not before seven Indian Christians were falsely accused and thrown in jail as lambs to appease the angry Hindu majority.

Cancellation of Hearings
On April 1 this year, the prisoners and their families were due to be heard in a fast-track court that was established to speed up the judicial process following the countless crimes committed during the pogroms. Convinced that the day had come to embrace their husbands, six of the seven wives, along with their children, went to the pastoral center Konjamendi, which provides assistance and support to Christian prisoners and their families. But they were only to be disappointed.

Following the constant and frustrating pattern of four years of delays and cancelations, once again the judge announced that his court was closed and that the case had been passed into the hands of a regular Session Court.

Since the discovery of their innocence, court dates have been delayed and judges have repeatedly failed to show up for hearings. In 2012, seven hearings were canceled in the space of 60 days, at a time when 267 cases in ‘fast-track courts’ were still waiting to go to trial. Now that the case has been sent to a regular Session Court, the possibility for delayed justice has only multiplied, confirming the suspicions of many that the accused are in prison simply for being Christian(Keep Reading).

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