Church Launches Prayer for 7 Innocent Convicts of Kandhamal

Published 18 October 2017  |  
Author and eminent journalist Anto Akkara, extreme left and wives of accused Kandhamal Christians at Constitutional Club, New Delhi on March 3, 2016.

Church leaders, journalists and activists on Oct. 15 at Kochi, Kerala, have launched a prayer campaign for seven 'innocent' Christian convicts of Kandhamal, suffering in jail for nine years.

During a seminar on 'What happened in Kandhamal?', journalist Anto Akkara, who is actively involved in campaigns for justice for Kandhamal's 'innocents', and leaders from the Jesus Youth professional forum led the prayer meeting. The participants wore white shirts and held posters and placards of prayers in front of a digital screen displaying portraits of the seven convicts as the prayers were recited in both Malayalam and English.

"Faith must lead to action. Each Christian has a duty to raise one's voice and pray for the seven innocent Christians who are languishing in jail for nine years," said Akkara, the author of an investigative book, "Who Killed Swami Laxmanananda?"

Bhaskar Sunamajhi, Bijay Kumar Sanseth, Budhadeb Nayak, Durjo Sunamajhi, Gornath Chalanseth, Munda Badamajhi and Sanatan Badamajhi are the seven 'innocents' "languishing in jail after being fraudulently convicted to life imprisonment for the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati that triggered the 2008 bloodshed and persecution," he added.

In October 2013, these 'innocents' were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment, what Akkara terms a Kandhamal fraud—political conspiracy.

Akkara called the attendees to participate in an online signature campaign www.release7innocents.com for the release of the seven.

"Christ has taught to bear witness to the truth. Speak up for the voiceless. While innocents are languishing in jail, perpetrators behind Kandhamal fraud are holding high offices making a mockery of democracy," he added, according to Vatican Radio.

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