EFI News Persecution Watch September 24, 2009

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News on Orissa and Andhra Pradesh

5 sentenced to life imprisonment for killing Christian

A fast track court on Wednesday (September 23) sentenced five people to life term imprisonment for their involvement in the murder of a Christian during communal violence in Orissa's Kandhamal district last year.

EFI correspondent, Ashish Parida reported from Orissa that Additional Judge S.K Das of the fast-track court number I at district headquarters of Phulbani sentenced Sabata Pradhan, Papu Pradhan, Abhinash Pradhan, Dharmaraj Pradhan and Mania Pradhan to life imprisonment and slapped a fine of rupees 5,000 each on them.

It came a day after the same court sentenced three years rigorous jail term to six persons in the Kandhamal riots. The court had also acquitted five accused due to lack of evidence on Tuesday.

On September 26 last year, armed Hindu extremists beat Akbar Digal to death, his throat was slit in the presence of his wife Lodia Digal, barely two days after riots broke out in the aftermath of VHP leader Swami Laxamananda Saraswati's killing. First Information Report (FIR) was registered on August 29, 2009 at Raikai Police station. Lodia Digal was the complainant of the case.

So far, 24 persons have been convicted and 88 acquitted in the Kandhamal riot case.

Pastor brutally attacked in Andhra Pradesh

Hindu extremists attacked a pastor, beat him up until he fell unconscious in a pool of blood on September 20 in Nalagonda, Andhra Pradesh.

Pastor Vanamala Parishuddam was returning from Sunday worship service when Hindu hardliners stopped and beat him up, reported EFI correspondent, Rev. Madhusudan Das.

At about11 a.m., three extremists rushed on the pastor and mercilessly beat him up till he bled profusely. The attackers fled the scene when the pastor collapsed on the ground. Villagers arrived at the spot, called an ambulance, and took the pastor to the hospital. The pastor received ICU treatment in Kamineney hospital and had eight stitches on his head.

First Information report was registered at Narketpalli police station. No arrests had been made at press time.

Please pray for the quick recovery of the pastor and for Andhra Pradesh, which has recorded the second highest number of attacks on Christians within the first eight months of this year.

Rev. Dr. Richard Howell
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India


 Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations