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Orissa: 5 years after anti-Christian pogrom, little justice for victims

Catholic World News - May 08, 2013

Five years after an anti-Christian pogrom in the eastern Indian state of Orissa left 100 dead and over 50,000 homeless, justice has been denied to victims because of police inaction and the intimidation of witnesses, according to John Dayal, the lay Catholic journalist who serves as secretary-general of the All India Christian Council.

According to Dayal, Christians in Orissa have filed 3,232 criminal complaints, of which only 1,541 were accepted by police and only 828 resulted in a police “first information report.” Trials followed in 327 cases, which resulted in 169 judicial acquittals affecting 1,597 defendants. In another 86 trials, defendants were convicted of minor offenses.

Acquittals “often occur because the key witnesses are threatened, intimidated, or afraid,” the Fides news agency reported.

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