No Compensation for Odisha Churches damaged during riots: Supreme Court

Published 19 July 2014  |  
The Supreme Court of India has ruled Thursday that churches damages during riots in Kandhamal district of Odisha in December 2007 will not be given any compensation as they get foreign funds.

Senior counsel Colin Gonzalves had appealed to the court that not only victims but many churches damages during the riots were not awarded compensation.

Justice K.L. Dattu who headed a three-judge bench told the counsel, ""You know Mr Gonzalves, most of the churches get funds from foreign governments. So it is not proper for you to ask for chairs in the church or church bells."

Mr. Gonsalves argued that the state of Odisha should compensate since the churches were damages by rioters.

However, the bench said: "Those cases, we will ask you to go to civil courts. In cases of death, we will take care of the compensation."

The three-judge bench also dismissed the counsel's appeal that the families of those who died of diarrhoea, cholera and snakebites in relief camps should be given compensation.

"Please don't make such pleas. You can't ask anything. You can ask for the moon, not the sun. You have to be reasonable. The state of Odisha is also not that prosperous…," Justice Dattu said, before adjourning the matter till July 23.

Kandhamal witnessed unprecedented anti-Christian violence where more than 90 people were killed and displaced around 50,000 others and several women were raped. Additionally, some 300 churches and 5,600 houses were razed to the ground.

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