NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) – A Hindu nationalist legislator was arrested yesterday after a court pronounced him guilty of playing a major role in the murder of a Christian during anti-Christian carnage in Orissa state’s Kandhamal district in August 2008.
The Fast Track Court II in Kandhamal convicted Manoj Pradhan of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the murder of a 30-year-old Christian, Bikram Nayak, who succumbed to head injuries two days after an attack by a mob in the Raikia area of Budedi village on Aug. 25, 2008.
Judge Chitta Ranjan Das sentenced Pradhan to six years of rigorous imprisonment for “culpable homicide not amounting to murder” under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code and imposed a fine of 15,500 rupees (US$335) for setting houses ablaze. more >>
NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) – A visually impaired Christian and his friend accused drunken Buddhists of abducting and assaulting them last week after the blind volunteer distributed relief material in a Buddhist-majority town in a region of India devastated by recent floods.
The attackers are still at large after the assault last Wednesday in the town of Leh in Jammu and Kashmir state’s Ladakh region, where flooding and landslides destroyed hundreds of houses and killed around 200 people on Aug. 6.
The attackers, identified as members of the Ladakh Buddhist Association (LBA), one of the region’s largest and most influential Non-Governmental Organizations, abducted Ram Kumar Thapa, Stanzin Chosphel and his pregnant wife Putali Sherpa because of their Christian faith and beat the men, the victims said. more >>
NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) - Nearly two years after large-scale anti-Christian violence broke out in India’s Kandhamal district, Orissa state, a team working against human trafficking on Aug. 9 rescued a 16-year-old Christian girl – one of at least 60 people sold into slavery after being displaced by the 2008 attacks.
The recovery in Delhi of the girl represented the cracking of a network that has trafficked Christian girls and women from Orissa to the national capital, sources said.
“Human trafficking agents operating in the tribal belt of Orissa have targeted the Christian girls who are displaced by the Kandhamal communal violence – we have been receiving complaints of missing girls from Kandhamal after the violence broke out in 2008,” said attorney Lansinglu Rongmei, one of the rescue team members. “Roughly 60 girls are estimated missing and have been trafficked to different states.” more >>
NEW DELHI – The National Council of Churches in India greeted the country on its 63rd Independence Day, calling for unity and greater efforts in condemning "perpetuation of depravity and all manifestations of violence."
The ecumenical body, representing over 13 million Christians from the Orthodox and Protestant traditions, urged the country's citizens to “stand up to all attempts to divide and discriminate people based on caste, religious and ideological orientations, ethnicity, language, literacy, or region.”
The NCCI said in a statement that more contributions must be made to the process of opinion building, especially in the framing of new legislations and expressing opinions on existing laws. more >>
NEW DELHI (Compass Direct News) – Two evangelists said they survived an attack in Balaghat district, Madhya Pradesh, by playing dead last week when suspected Hindu extremists surrounded them and severely beat them.
The six assailants accused Mahindra Kharoley, 20, and 30-year-old Munshi Prasaad Bahey of “forced conversion.”
The two evangelists were bicycling to their home village of Susua following a prayer meeting at Dunda Sivni, 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Balaghat district, when the attackers on two motorbikes, with their faces covered, attacked them in Bhalwa village at around 10 p.m. on July 20. The assailants did not wait for them to respond to the charges of forced conversion before they began hitting and kicking them, the evangelists said. more >>
NEW DELHI – One of the main suspects in the 2008 anti-Christian violence in Orissa, India, was been sentenced to seven years in prison for murder.
A fast track court on Tuesday sentenced Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Manoj Pradhan to seven years "rigorous imprisonment" for the murder of Parikhita Nayak, a Dalit Christian. Nayak was among more than 100 people, mostly Christians, who were killed following the murder of a Hindu leader.
Since the attacks in August 2008 that left some 50,000 people homeless and hundreds of churches destroyed, only a couple dozen persons have been convicted and far more have been acquitted. The Orissa state government handed out its first conviction nearly a year after the violence. more >>