03/23/2011, 00.00
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Orissa: another Christian killed in Kandhamal

by Santosh Digal
Angad Digal, a Catholic man from Mondasoro, was killed on 10 March. He had gone to a neighbouring village with two Hindu acquaintances. Police arrest one of the two suspects, but have not yet found Digal’s body. A priest slams the atmosphere of impunity created by law enforcement inertia.

Bhubaneswar (AsiaNews) – In Orissa, Christians continue to suffer from persecution. On 10 March, Angad Digal, a Catholic man from Mondasoro (Kandhamal), went missing. Local sources say he was killed in Tilakapanga, where he travelled in the company of a couple of Hindu acquaintances. For days, family, volunteers, and human rights activists in Cuttack diocese have been searching for his body, without success.

One of the men suspected in Digal’s murder has been arrested, Fr Laxmikant Pradhan, a local priest, said. “The authorities’ inertia is making matters worse for the family and Christians in Kandhamal,” he added.

People are in shock and afraid. “We must find Digal’s body and stop this culture of impunity,” the priest noted.

Since the 2008 anti-Christian pogroms, Hindu extremists continue to threaten and kill Catholics and Tribals. The authorities have not intervened to stop the violence.

Among the population, fear is strong and few dare file complaints. Many murders go unsolved, ignored by law enforcement.

Br Markose, a Monfort missionary and lawyer for pogrom victim families, told AsiaNews that police on Sunday announced the death of Mathew Sunamajhi and his son, both murdered on 25 August 2008.

The two were captured by Hindu radicals who tortured and then killed them. The incident was but one among many that took part during the wave of violence that swept across Kandhamal in 2008.

Fearing retaliations, no one reported the double murder until now.

According to Br Markose, it is impossible to count all the cases of murder, disappearance and violence that have taken place in the last few years.

“Many are coming to light just now and the Church will not tire from following such cases and demand justice for the victims.”

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