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06/01/2019 India (International Christian Concern) – The recent release of Gornath Chalanseth has given hope to six other Christians who are wrongfully convicted and imprisoned for the same murder in India. This hope comes after more than ten years of imprisonment.

In August 2008, a Hindu leader named Laxmanananda Saraswati was murdered while in the Kandhamal district of India’s Odisha state. Christians were wrongfully blamed for the murder of the Hindu leader and anti-Christian riots swept across the Kandhamal district for the next three months.

As the riots were ongoing, seven Christians, including Chalanseth, were arrested and wrongfully charged with murdering Saraswati. In 2013, these seven Christians were convicted on little evidence and sentenced to life imprisonment.

The Supreme Court ordering bail for [Chalanseth] has exposed the Hindu nationalist fraud behind Kandhamal,” Anto Akkara, a journalist who has investigated the cases against the seven Christians, told Morning Star News. “The bail order proves that Swami Laxmanananda’s murder was used to trigger the bloodshed and the accusation against Christians was cooked up by the Hindu nationalists for political gain.

We have a long way to go,” Rev. Dibakar Parichha, a local Catholic priest speaking about the six other Christians still in prison, told Morning Star News. “We are hopeful for getting justice for the innocent people. It may be delayed, but justice will not be denied.

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