Orissa: 6th Kandhamal murder in 14 months *Venezuela president owes life to Faridabad bishop-elect

March 14, 2012 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

KhandamalOrissa, March 13, 2012: Suryakant Nayak of village Bakingia, Raikia, Kandhamal was murdered on night of 2.3.2012. Suryakant, a CNI (Baptist) Christian, was a daily wage earner. He along with his mother and three daughters was living in his house beside the road to Raikia, near Mondakia Chhak. On 2.3.2012, He went to the Utkal Gramya Bank at Raikia, along with his mother and all three daughters, withdrew Rs.1500/-. After purchasing some things his mother and children returned home, while he stayed back. The family reported him as missing the next day.

On 6.3.12, local MLA informed the police station at Raikia that a dead body was lying in a well (of Trinath Nayak) at Pajumaha (Raikia). With the help of fire force, police got the body out. The family was informed by the Sarpanch – village head.

Both his hands were broken at wrist. His mouth and lips were broken and teeth were not in the mouth. There were other severe injuries too, showing struggle. However, a case of case of murder was not registered.

This report is based on discussions with Mr Pramod Nayak, Mr Dara Singh, mother of the deceased and other villagers on  12.3.2012

According to Fr Prabodh Pradhan (Raikia), “this is the sixth murder of Christians in Kandhamal during past 14 months. It is a matter of much concern.”

Late Suryakant Nayak is survived by three daughters aged 5, 7 and 9. His widowed mother refuses to be consoled.

– persecution.in

Venezuela president owes life to Faridabad bishop-elect


Venezuela President Hugo ChavezHaryana, March 12, 2012: If Venezuela President Hugo Chavez thanks anyone for being alive today, it would be the newly appointed bishop of Faridabad diocese in northern India.

Archbishop-Bishop Kuriakose Bharanikulangara was the charge d’affairs of the Apostolic Nunciature in Caracas when the Venezuelan president faced a coup that threatened him ten years ago.

“It was the most striking experience in my career,” Archbishop Bharanikulangara recalled the night of April 11, 2002 when he attended a frantic call from Chavez.

The prelate said it took some time for him to realize the person on the other side was embattled Chavez.

The president and his wife were held hostage in a room in the presidential palace when he pleaded to speak to the Vatican ambassador.

Chavez, a former Lieutenant-Colone, was first elected in 1998, but four years later the general’s took over in a coup.

“From his (Chavez’s) voice I could make out that something serious must have happened,” said Archbishop Bharanikulangara, who was then a monsignor.

The Indian prelate’s mediation and help from Rome helped Chavez to leave the presidential palace safely.

The president was guaranteed a passage to a remote island and representatives of the Church acted as personal custodians.

“I had to mediate with the military generals to help Chavez,” said the archbishop-elect.

The coup lasted only for just 47 hours because pro-Chavez protests broke out across the country as soon as the generals took over.

On the first day, the military rulers shot dead as many as 60 people, triggering an upheaval that forced the new government to recall Chavez.

“Sometimes you can really make a difference. Timely responsible decisions by the Church prevented the crisis from getting out of hand,” Archbishop Bharanikulangara said and added even now the Venezuelan president acknowledges that the Vatican embassy people helped him to survive.

The prelate said that he has lived outside India for more than 24 years and witnessed how communities grow in a migrant background.

He has spent the past18 years as a Vatican diplomat in places as disparate as Iraq, Congo and the UN.

His Episcopal ordination has been fixed for May 26. He would be in charge of Syro-Malabar Catholics in Delhi and surrounding states.

– ucan

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