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Hinduist Pogrom

2008 - Orissa, India
On assignment for La Vie magazine (France).
The State of Orissa, India went through its most brutal and widespread communal violence in its history ever, at the end of august, 2008, whose epicentre was the Kandhamal district. Hordes of raging Bajrang Dal and RSS movements' activists (Hindu fundamentalists) broke and commited well-organised and carefully planned an anti-Christians progrom. They grabbed the political opportunity of the killing of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati, a nationalist and intolerant Hindu leader, who had been pointing out "forced conversions" of Hindus by the Christians, going on for years. At the beginning of November authorities tallied 3600 houses and 154 churches or prayer houses damaged or destroyed, and 37 dead. Several thousands of people were still taking refuge in government relief camps, or gone into exile out of Kandhamal district. /.../
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Sarasananda Christian mission vandalized and abandoned, around Phulbani. Burned copy of the Bible translated into Oriya.
Typical landscape of Kandhamal. Most of the population in the district is extremely rural and simple.
Church vandalized around G. Udayagiri.
Sarasananda Christian mission vandalized and abandoned, around Phulbani.
Village of Kulupatia. A villager in what remains of her house burnt down. The Christians of this village around Nuagam, refusing to leave their land or back from refugee camps, live in rubbles or in tents under the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Forces) protection, sent by the central government.
Village of Kulupatia. Aba Digal, mother of two children, of Baptist generation, in what remains of her house burnt down. The Christians of this village around Nuagam, refusing to leave their land or back from refugee camps, live in rubbles or in tents under the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Forces) protection sent by the central government.
Village of Kulupatia. A villager has engraved a thank you to pastors in what remains of a burned house. The Christians of this village around Nuagam, refusing to leave their land or back from refugee camps, live in rubbles or in tents under the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Forces) protection, sent by the central government.
Village of Kulupatia. Gobi Digal, Baptist from generations, in what remains of her house burnt down. The Christians of this village around Nuagam, refusing to leave their land or back from refugee camps, live in rubbles or in tents under the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Forces) protection, sent by the central government.
Tikabali refugee camp. Many villagers from Kandhamal district dare not return home for fear of further violence or forced conversion to Hinduism, or because they have lost everything.
Distribution of food and meals in the Nuagam refugee camp. Many villagers in the Kandhamal dare not return home for fear of further violence or forced conversion to Hinduism, or because they have lost everything.
Tikabali refugee camp. Many Kandhamal villagers dare not return home for fear of further violence or forced conversion to Hinduism, or because they have lost everything.
Tikabali refugee camp. Many villagers from Kandhamal district dare not return home for fear of further violence or forced conversion to Hinduism, or because they have lost everything.
Bhubaneshwar refugee camp, in the capital of Orissa. A woman reads a Bible in Oriya. Many Kandhamal villagers dare not return home for fear of further violence or forced conversion to Hinduism, or because they have lost everything.
Bhubaneshwar refugee camp, in the capital of Orissa. Many villagers in the Kandhamal dare not return home for fear of further violence or forced conversion to Hinduism, or because they have lost everything.
Refugee camp of G. Udayagiri. Many villagers of Kandhamal dare not go back home by fear of new violences or forced conversion to Hinduism, or because they lost everything. 208 families still live there at the end of October.
In the refugee camp run by the Missionaries of Charity in Janla. Many villagers from the Kandhamal district dare not going back home by fear of new violences or forced conversion to Hinduism, or because they lost everything.
Bhubaneshwar refugee camp in the capital of Orissa. Puspangali Pandi with her daughter Monalisa, has lost her husband. He was a pastor and was killed, cut into pieces and thrown in the river. Many Kandhamal villagers dare not return home for fear of further violence or forced conversion to Hinduism, or because they have lost everything.
Christians in several villages around G. Udayagiri, refusing to leave their land or back from refugee camps, gather in the village of Rudangia under the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Forces) protection sent by the central government.
Christians in several villages around G. Udayagiri, refusing to leave their land or back from refugee camps, gather in the village of Rudangia under the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Forces) protection sent by the central government.
Sarasananda Christian mission vandalized and abandoned, around Phulbani. “A short history of Jesuits in Orissa, 1985-2005”.
Sunil Kumar Paricha in one of the church he founded, sacked. Sunil is a Pentecostal pastor. At 30 years old he is said to have baptized more than 1 100 people and launched 14 churches locally. He was baptized in 1994 after being a disciple of the extremist Hindu Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati assassinated in august, event which originated violences.
Picture and relics of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati, the guru assassinated in August, event which originated violences. Ashram of Jalespata, where his body is kept.

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