Orissa, fundamentalists attack Hindu for friendship with Christians

Kandhamal, India - New episodes of intolerance in Kandhamal, the scene of repeated anti-Christian violence by Hindu fundamentalists (23/03/2011 Orissa: another Christian killed in Kandhamal). This time the victim is a Hindu attacked because of his good relations with Christians in the village of Bodimunda. Hindu fundamentalists in Bodimunda are implementing a social and economic boycott of Christians, which will last until they withdraw police complaints of violence committed by radicals in 2008.

On April 12, Mr Kesab Digal, 60, of Bodimunda village, a Hindu by faith but a sympathiser of Christians, was at Soroda, Ganjam distict in Orissa, with his son-in-law during Kandhamal pogrom,came to his village along with his daughters and grand children to attend the 'meru jatra', a local festival. But his nephew, his brother’s son, and his other friends, Hindu radicals attacked him and his brother, accusing them of supporting and helping Christians and forced them to take refuge in the house, then locked them inside, preventing them from leaving. They shot fireworks and firecrackers at the house. The policeman asked for reinforcements from the village, a dozen agents arrived later, but have not been able to end the siege of the radical Hindu mob.

Kesab Digal and other family members remained locked in the house all night, until 6 am the next morning when a magistrate came, with other agents, and the head of the village, the sarpanch. Kesab and his family were accompanied to the Tikabali police station, however in the meantime, fundamentalists looted and destroyed the house. Kesab complained, and he returned to Soroda. To date, however, none of the leaders of the siege and looting have been arrested.

The Committee of the victims of Bodimunda asked the sarpanch to arrange a meeting to discuss the lack of harmony in the village. The meeting was held in Bodimunda April 14. The sarpanch has requested that the past be forgotten, and that the attacks against Christians cease. Radicals present at the meeting said that the social and economic boycott of Christians will continue until all complaints about the 2008 pogroms are not be withdrawn.