ASIA/INDIA - August 25 - Day of Remembrance for the victims of anti-Christian massacres in Orissa

Thursday, 31 July 2014

New Delhi (Agenzia Fides) - A special "Day of Remembrance" to commemorate the victims of anti-Christian massacres that occurred in 2007 and 2008 will be celebrated in Orissa on 25 August. The day will see the organization of various initiatives, prayer vigils, public events, and aims to raise awareness about the lack of justice that still exists.
The "National Solidarity Forum", a coalition of various organizations, artists, intellectuals, lawyers and human rights activists have announced that various actions and initiatives on the theme of justice are scheduled for that day. The Forum has issued an appeal, sent to Fides, which invites civil society in India and abroad to join in the day when we remember the victims of the pogrom launched by Hindu extremists in Kandhamal district. "The adivasis (local indigenous) and Dalit Christian survivors are still waiting for justice, while the perpetrators are on the loose", and "it is increasingly clear that the violence was completely planned and was not the result of a spontaneous action on the basis of religious identity".
The Forum recalls the violation, at the time and now, regarding "the rights of women, children, religious rights, of the indigenous people and Dalits, human rights in general", raising questions "about the role of the police, the judiciary, government, the media" and how "the attempt of genocide calls into question the very foundations of Indian democracy".
"It is frustrating and painful to note that many people were killed, many churches were demolished, women were raped, religious minorities were forcibly converted, houses were burned, and even orphanages destroyed by the Hindu radical organization Sangh Parivar, while the government almost facilitated such violence", reads the text. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 31/07/2014)