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Hindu Radical kills Christian Who Had Testified in Court in a Kandhamal Pogrom-related Case

Michael Digal, a Christian leader and activist, was killed by a Hindu radical after testifying about the 2008 Orissa violence by Hindu radicals. Hindu radicals killed 100 Christians and forced 55,000 Christians to leave their homes in the 2008 violence in the Indian state of Orissa.

By Nirmala Carvalho

07/29/2011 India (AsiaNews) – Michael Digal was killed for revenge. The Christian leader and activist testified against Hindu radicals after the Kandhamal pogroms, this according to investigators who are probing his death. Initially, state police had ruled his death accidental before the autopsy report was completed. The decomposing body of the 43-year-old man was found on Wednesday near Baliguda Block, Kandhamal District (Orissa), three days after he went missing, near Mdikia (see “Christian leaded found dead in Kandhamal, Sajan George accuses Hindu radicals,” in AsiaNews, 28 July 2011). It was later moved to the government hospital in Baliguda, where a post-mortem was conducted yesterday.

According to his relatives, Michael was called from home on a pretext three days before his body was found, and was not seen alive after that. The investigation, conducted with the help of a team from the Global Council of India Christians (GCIC), describes a different scenario than an accident.

Michael Digal, a Christian leader in the Bataguda area, had testified in court in a case related to the 2008 anti-Christian pogroms in Kandhamal District. The man charged with the offence was convicted and sentenced. Once out of prison, he slowly befriended Michael. Last Sunday, this “friend” asked Michael to accompany him in bicycle from Baliguda to Bataguda. Once in the forest, far from prying eyes, the false friend stabbed Michael to death.

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