Kandhamal Victims Deserve More: Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar

Published 02 November 2017  |  

Christian victims of Kandhamal deserve more compensation, Mgr John Barwa, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, said demanding the state government to look into the decision of the Supreme Court of India on Kandhamal.

On Oct. 26 Barwa has submitted a memorandum signed by some Christian leaders in Odisha asking the government to enforce a decision of the apex court. In Aug. 2016, the court ruled that victims of the 2008 Odisha pogroms carried out by Hindu extremists should get higher compensation.

The victims haven't received any compensation even though "the money is already in the district," read the memorandum.

The memorandum delivered to Kandhamal District Collector Drunda D. also read various provisions of the court's verdict that has remained unexecuted so far. The provisions include additional compensation of 300,000 rupees per victim; 30,000 rupees for serious injury, 10,000 rupees for simply injury; and 70,000 for fully damaged houses.

The court also ordered reopening of the 315 registered cases of sectarian violence. Out of 362 cases, only 78 ended up in trial, according to Herald Malaysia Online.

Christians "want peace, and that is why they are fighting the Odisha government," said Barwa.

Seven Christians falsely blamed for Swami Laxamanananda's murder, which set off the 2008 violence, are all still in prison.

"Their case is in the hands of good lawyers, who are doing their best to get their release. Let us pray for them that they may soon go back to their families," said Barwa.


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