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Orissa: 5,000 survivors mark anniversary of anti-Christian pogrom

Catholic World News - September 03, 2012

An estimated 5,000 survivors, many with ribbons over their mouths, gathered in the Kandhamal district of the eastern Indian state of Orissa on August 30 to commemorate the fourth anniversary of attacks on Christians there.

The attacks left dozens dead and an estimated 50,000 homeless.

“This rally was to pay homage to the dead, and to call for justice, security and livelihood for the victims,” said Father Ajay Singh. “It was to draw the attention of the government and other stakeholders to these needs, and to encourage the victims and build up solidarity among them.”

“Despite the government giving permission only at the very last moment, the people came from far-flung, remote areas serviced with little public transport, braving the rain and possible threats and intimidation from the Sangh Parivar [extremist Hindu nationalist organizations] and government officials,” he added. “That indicates their thirst for justice, which you could see written on their faces, and when they left, they had a feeling that justice would be done sooner or later.”

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