Barnabas Aid - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Indian court reopens church leader murde...

Email:

Indian court reopens church leader murder case dismissed by police

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Indian court reopens church leader murder case dismissed by police

Country/Region: India, South and East Asia

A court in India has reopened the case of a murdered church leader, ordering that the killers be brought to justice after police had dismissed his death as a road accident.

The court in Baliguda, Kandhamal district, Orissa state, ruled on 7 August that Michael Nayak, who was aged around 40, was killed by Hindu extremists in July 2011. It also ordered an inquiry into the actions of the police officers who misled the initial investigation.

Victims of anti-Christian violence in India are often denied justice
Victims of anti-Christian violence in India are often denied justice

The development has been welcomed by the Christian community, who are often denied justice and feel that the police are complicit in acts of violence against them by failing to take action against the perpetrators.

Michael's body was found lying by the side of a road near the village of Mondakia; the only wound was a hole below the ear that was bleeding. Police said that the pastor had lost control of his motorbike and fallen in a ditch. But Michael's family did not think that the condition of both his body and his vehicle were consistent with this explanation and were convinced that he had been murdered; the pastor had no cuts or bruises, and there was only minimal damage to the bike.

His brother Daniel said at the time:

"The glass of the headlight came out, not even broken, and the gear shifter was damaged, otherwise the bike is in good condition. I refuse to accept the police version that he could not turn his bike at the bend of the road and fell down. In fact even his spectacles were not broken."

The evening before, two of Michael's Hindu friends had come to his village and asked him for a lift home. The church leader willingly took the pair on his motorbike, leaving at 8.30pm, and was never seen alive again.

The Global Council of Indian Christians is now calling for five other similar cases in the region that were registered by the police as accidental deaths to be reinvestigated.

One of them, which Christian activist KG Markose said "bore a startling resemblance" to Michael's death, is that of another church leader, Saul Pradhan, whose body was found near a pond in Pakala village on 11 January 2011. The pastor had likewise been taken away from his house by two Hindu friends the night before. Police attributed Saul's death to exposure.

Christians in Kandhamal have suffered extensive persecution, most notably at Christmas 2007 and between August and October 2008 when Hindu extremists attacked Christians and their property in hundreds of villages. Around 90 Christians were killed, many thousands injured and over 56,000 displaced by the violence. Justice has eluded most of the victims. 

 

Help us: Share this article

Email:

Indian court reopens church leader murder case dismissed by police

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • Continue to remember Pastor Tandin Wangyal, who is serving a prison sentence of almost four years in the small nation of Bhutan, only because he received funds from outside the country to help support his ministry. Ask God to sustain our brother at this time, so that he will draw comfort from God’s grace. Pray that his faith will not fail. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 4 hours ago

    • Dear Lord Jesus, we pray for freedom for the thousands of Eritrean Christian refugees who have fled from escalating anti-Christian persecution in their home country, and are being detained in prisons in Egypt. You said that You had been sent to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and to set the oppressed free. We especially ask your healing for women and men who have been raped in prison, and for your grace for those who have been kept chained for months, suffering hunger, torture and abuse. Please free these faithful ones, who suffer for Your Name. (Luke 4:18,21) Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Dec 2014 00:00

    • Praise God for the continued Christian presence in northern Mali, despite the apparent desire of jihadists to wipe it out. Most of the Christians who had fled the region when Islamist radicals took control in 2012 have now returned to their homes, after French troops ousted the Islamists. Many church buildings were desecrated, looted or severely damaged, but the Christians are determined to resume their ministries. Pray for their protection. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Dec 2014 00:00

    • Continue to pray for church leaders in Christian-majority Burundi that they may have wisdom in responding to the unfamiliar situation of political restriction by their own government. A new law passed in August requires each church to have at least 500 members and a proper building; congregations were given a year to comply. Pray that religious liberty will be maintained in Burundi, both for Christians and for the small minorities who follow other religions. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Dec 2014 00:00

    • Heavenly Father, we pray to you for our Christian brothers and sisters in north-eastern Nigeria, who are so vulnerable in the face of attacks by Boko Haram militants. We remember especially those who used to live in Shani, in Borno state, until their town was raided by Boko Haram on 29 November. We cry out to You to intervene and bring an end to the murderous attacks by Boko Haram. We pray for all the thousands of Nigerian Christians who have suffered in similar attacks that they will not lose hope or faith in You, but will know Your peace which passes understanding. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Dec 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Aid 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Aid is a registered trade mark