India: Impunity for Hindus who murder Christians

Authorities in India have released a suspect in the murder of a Christian human rights activist. No clues on murderers.

Christians in India remain in shock over continued outrages by Hindus and Muslims who apparently can persecute and murder Christians with impunity. 

The Catholic community in India, for example, points out for two recent murders of Rabindra Parichha in Orissa and and Sister Valsa John in Jharkhand, the investigations are still at full stop. Their concern is that the files on the cases may now be lost or merely ignored.

Investigation into the killing of Rabindra Parichha, a former Catholic catechist and human rights activist in Orissa, have not produced any results, Speaking to Fides news service, Brother K.J. Markos, a Catholic missionary and lawyer working in Kandhamal, reported that 34 days after Parichha's death, the main suspect was released because he promised to cooperate with the investigation. According to Parichha's relatives, so far the investigation has gone nowhere. "I contacted three of Parichha's colleagues. They know nothing about the case", Brother Markos said.  "It is sad to see that the police has not yet considered the matter and has no idea who the culprits are. Even family members and colleagues seem to have left the matter to its fate, perhaps out of fear. I am going to follow the case. If the police do not respond, then we could lodge a formal complaint to the Court", he added. Even because, brother Markos remarks, "the delay is likely to destroy any evidence".

 Parichha was a legal activist with the Evangelical Fellowship of India, which brings together many evangelical churches, and was working for the legal assistance of the victims of the anti-Christian massacres carried out in 2008 in KandhamalKandhamal was one of the areas struck by anti-Christian violence on Christmas 2008.

Also, an investigation into the murder of Sister Valsa John has proved fruitless. She was a member of the Sisters of Charity of Jesus and Mary who was killed at her home in of Pakur on November 15, 2001.  Immediately after the murder, the police had arrested seven suspects, claiming that the murder could be the work of "suspected Maoists, together with the inhabitants of the village" where the nun lived.

But nothing concrete has emerged and while critics claim that there is no clear evidence linking the accused Maoists to the murder. Local sources opine that law enforcement should look to other possible culprits: the mining companies that the nun had hindered, in her work with India's tribal peoples.

Some days ago the nuns, priests, laity and Christian faithful met in Ranchi to pay homage to the woman who "fought the corrupt system with a Bible and the Indian Constitution". They noted that these were the very few objects in the nun's possession at the time of her death. According to Sr.Joel, who had served with Sister Valsa, Christians have formed a Committee to meet with the civil authorities in Jharkhand and demand an effective investigation. 

Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.

Filed under crime, religion, india, law, crime, hinduism, catholic, Asia


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