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Kandhamal situation far from normal: Archbishop Cheenath

ICC Note

“We want full reconciliation and lasting peace in Kandhamal which will be possible when justice is transparent, lives are rebuilt and people return to their own villages without fear. We do not want any ghettoisation in the district,”

By John Malhotra

02/08/2010 India (Christian Today)-Fifteen months after fierce violence against Christians in Kandhamal, human dignity, rights and life of the victims remain far from normal, says a senior Church leader in Orissa.

Despite tall claims from the state and district administrations, thousand still live in makeshift shanties along the road, and in the forests, with no seeming hope of rehabilitation, said Raphael Cheenath, Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar.

“We want full reconciliation and lasting peace in Kandhamal which will be possible when justice is transparent, lives are rebuilt and people return to their own villages without fear. We do not want any ghettoisation in the district,” he told at a press conference on Saturday.

He faulted the attitude of the authorities on the lack of justice in the Fast Track courts where terrorizing of witnesses and shoddy investigations were routine. He also condemned the inadequacy of government assistance in rebuilding houses, and the absence of genuine employment, livelihood and education schemes.

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