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14 Kandhamal Victims Receive Compensation

Sunday, May 6, 2018, 18:57 (IST)

Fourteen Kandhamal victims have received compensation of Rupees Three Lakhs each following writ petitions filed by lawyers of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) India in the High Court bearing WP(C) No.24342 to 24355 of 2017.

According ADF, on May 4, Home Department said that an additional amount of Rs.15,33,20,000 have already been placed at the disposal of the Collector, Kandhamal with necessary instructions to disburse the amount.

"Today, justice has been granted to the victims of religious persecution in India. We welcome the decision of the High Court to compensate the families which suffered under the Kandhamal violence almost ten years ago," said Tehmina Arora, a human rights lawyer and Director of ADF India, who litigated the cases on behalf of the victims of violence in Kandhamal.

"As we remember the brutal riots against religious minorities in this region, we must not forget that justice is the first step towards reconciliation. Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith. With its judgement, the Court has reaffirmed the constitutional right to freedom of religion in India," Arora added.

The victims are those who lost their families due to the anti-Christian violence in 2008 that spread over 615 villages. The perpetrators of violence destroyed around 7500 houses, 395 churches, 42 schools and more than 1, 50,000 people were displaced. Nearly 100 Christians were killed.