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Church Delegation Visits Kandhamal in Orissa

ICC Note

“We are shocked at the present and continuing victimization of the survivors of the Kandhamal persecution, three years after the attacks, the scale of deprivation and the depth of institutionalized hostility to their rehabilitation.”

By John Malhotra
01/24/2011 India (Christian Today)-Church leaders attending a dalit-tribal interface in Orissa last week visited Kandhamal and interacted with the victims of the 2008 violence in an effort to boost peace and stability in the region.

Expressing shock at the continuing victimization of the survivors even two years after the violence, church and the civil society groups denounced the complicity of the government and pledged to work for healing and reconciliation.

“Our visit to Kandhamal and the interaction with the communities overwhelmed us with the pain and the plight that the survivors still have to endure with continued threat to their life,” they expressed.

“We are shocked at the present and continuing victimization of the survivors of the Kandhamal persecution, three years after the attacks, the scale of deprivation and the depth of institutionalized hostility to their rehabilitation.”

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“We realize that peace is not possible without justice, and justice is not possible where impunity reigns and crime rewarded. It is the primary responsibility of the state to protect, promote and secure human rights and dignity,” they said.

They urged the state government to initiate confidence building processes by rebuilding homes and places of worship and providing security to freely live and practice a religion of one’s choice.

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The interaction also included the family of Saul Pradhan, a lay preacher who was found murdered on January 10, this month.

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