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Fr. Edward’s orphanage in Orissa burned a second time

ICC Note: Hindu radicals come back to finish what they started in burning down an orphanage – the last time they burned a 20-year-old woman to death and severely beat a Christian priest.

by Nirmala Carvalho
03/27/09 Bhubaneshwar, India (AsiaNews) – For the second time in a few months, a fire has destroyed the orphanage of Fr. Edward Sequeira, in Padampur (Orissa). On the night of March 20, unknown persons set fire to the building, already a target of the first Hindu violence last August. At the time of the first fire, Rajni Majhi, a 20-year-old woman who was helping Fr. Edward as a teacher, was killed. The Divine Word priest was tied up and beaten for more than an hour, and also risked being burned to death (see AsiaNews.it on 04/09/2008 and AsiaNews.it on 05/02/2009). This time there were no deaths, but the orphanage was destroyed.

Interviewed by AsiaNews, Fr. Edward says: “This setting fire to the Padampur orphanage is a clear indication that the area is still simmering and there is still risk of carnage.” The priest lost everything in the fire. He explains that after the first fire, “the police were guarding the burnt down orphanage and the night that the police was away, some unknown persons set fire to the place. That is clearly indicative that our Padampur mission is under constant surveillance by certain forces.” … [Go To Full Story]