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     Home > Justice and Peace >  2013-10-31 16:42:26
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Court acquits 54 accused of Orissa riots"Justice has not been served," says Church spokesman



31 Oct. 2013: Christian leaders in India have demanded an appeal against a court verdict on Tuesday that acquitted 54 people accused of burning down a church and 14 homes in 2007. A court in Phulbani, Kandhamal district, cleared the 54 due to lack of evidence according to local media reports. Christian leaders said the state government, the petitioner in the case, should appeal against the verdict in the state High Court to get justice for the Christians. Father Charles Irudayam, who heads the Indian Catholic bishops' justice commission, said the prosecution "may not have been strong enough" to seal a guilty verdict. The prosecution accused the mob of torching an Odia Baptist church and the houses in Barkhama village on December 25, 2007. "Justice has not been served in this case," Fr. Irudayam said, adding that the case should go to a higher court in the interests of justice.
Father Santhosh Digal of the Catholic archdiocese in Bhubaneswar, capital of Orissa, echoed the sentiment."No one can deny the fact of the crime—a church and 14 houses were burnt down. But now the system fails to punish whoever has done it."
Father Digal said if those accused of the crime are innocent, the system should find the real culprits and punish them. "Otherwise, it is unfair for those who suffered," he said.




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