Orissa govt turns deaf ear to Kandhamal victims

Naveen Patnaik
Cuttack (Orissa), Aug 31: The Church authority in Orissa have expressed their disappointment to the Orissa government as the Kandhamal riots victims have not received any rehabilitation centre and compensation despite promises made by the state officials.

During the anti-Christain riots in Orissa 2008, many tribals lost their lives after they had refused to give up their faith. More than 6000 houses were burnt and almost all the properties of the poor tibals were destroyed by the hindu activists.

On Monday, Aug 30, Reverend Raphael Cheenath, the Archbishop of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack, said

"There is tremendous fear and the matter is not fully settled now. With regards to compensation, I would like to say many types of damages have taken place...people lost their household articles...some of them have lost their family members who were killed. But never has the state government consulted the victims. They have said, 'Take Rs. 20,000, 50,000...if you won't take it, forget about it.' What about the institutions, the churches and training centers where lakhs of rupees of damage has taken place?" the Archbishop said.

He added that Church bodies have helped rebuild about 2,500 of the 6000 houses damaged or during the riots while the rest remained half-built or un-built.

Alleging about 4,000 people belonging to 20 villages were still unable to return to their houses due to fear, the archbishop demanded adequate protection for the victims and witnesses during trial of cases.

OneIndia News

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