Kandhamal violence survivors still in psychological pain

By: Matters India Reporter Kanjamendi: Kandhamal anti-Christian violence survivors still in psychological pain after nine years. This is was said during a psychological counseling session that was conducted for the survivors of Kandhamal violence in 2007 and 2008, at Divya Jyoti Pastoral Centre here, Kandhamal district, Odisha, Eastern India, February 24-25. The participants were the severely affected and traumatized persons who have lost their dear ones or were assaulted or tortured or displaced, said Father Augustine Singh, the resource person. The group counseling was meant for evaluating their current situation and disposition. Most of them still in pain, anguish and fear, said Singh, director of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archdiocesan counseling center. In their evaluation and feedback, the participants shared that they experienced relief and felt supported by each other. They looked forward to this kind of sessions in regular interval to enjoy better mental health and live effectively. Violence against the Christians of Odisha erupted in Kandhamal District with untold savagery, ‎with ‎Hindu ‎extremists blaming Christians for the August 23, 2008 murder of Hindu ‎leader ‎Swami ‎Lakshmanananda Saraswati, despite Maoist rebels claiming the assassination. Some 100 ‎Christians were killed and an estimated 395 churches and 6,500 Christian houses were destroyed. More than 90 Catholics were butchered by Hindu nationalists during the seven-week violence. Members of other Christian denominations also died in witness to their faith. They include Parikhit Nayak, a Dalit Christian “Protestant” convert from Hinduism who was tortured to death in front of his wife, Kanak Rekha Nayak. Victims also include Rajesh Digal, a Pentecostal minister who was ordered by a Hindu mob to renounce his faith. When he refused, he was beaten severely and was buried up to his neck for two days and was urinated upon when he begged for water. The mob eventually battered him to death with clubs, sticks, and axes. Rajni Majhi, an orphan girl in the care of a Catholic priest, was raped by members of a mob before she was burned alive.

Source: TopStory- Matters India

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