Pope Francis likely to visit India next year,

Pope Francis likely to visit India next year, says Archbishop-designate Joseph Kalathiparambil

Pope John Paul II is the only Pope to have visited Kerala, where the Catholic community has a strong presence.

pope francis

Kochi, Nov 24 : Pope Francis, Head of the Roman Catholic Church, is likely to visit India next year, a senior Catholic priest here said today. Archbishop-designate Joseph Kalathiparambil, who returned from Vatican today, said an indication in this regard was conveyed to him when he visited the Pope at his residence. “What I understood is that the Pope wishes to visit India next year. An indication in this regard was given to me when I visited him at his residence at Santa Marta in Vatican,” he said.

Kalathiparambil is set to take over as the Archbishop of Latin Archdiocese of Verapoly in Kerala on December 18. Earlier, there were reports that Pope Francis would “almost certainly” visit India but no dates were specified. Kalathiparambil said he requested the Pope to visit Kerala and Verapoly Archdiocese, and his response was positive. Pope John Paul II is the only Pope to have visited Kerala, where the Catholic community has a strong presence.

He had visited India for the first time for 10 days in 1986, and again in November 1999, his 89th Apostolic visit outside Italy, for the occasion of solemnly promulgating in the Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Ecclesia in Asia”, in New Delhi. During his India visit in 1986, Pope John Paul II had visited the state to beatify Sister Alphonsa and Kuriakose Elias Chavara popularly known as Chavara Achen. Prior to appointment as the archbishop, Kalathiparambil was serving as the Secretary of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People after being called for the assignment by Pope Benedict XVI in February 2011. The 64-year-old bishop replaces Archbishop Francis Kallarakal, who has retired.

Cardinal (Archbishop), urged to lead in the moment of crisis: RDDP 2014-2034;




Dear Readers,


Development Plan, RDDP 2014 – 2014, has created quite a flutter, ever  since it was put up for suggestions/objections by BMC, over a year ago. It was then withdrawn, after innumerable errors were seen and pointed out by members of public. After over a year, BMC has again invited suggestions/objections. Looking at the plan minutely, it has been observed that BMC authorities are playing in the hands of certain elements who are trying to erase CHRISTIAN IDENTITY OF MUMBAI. It seems to be a long term plan, beginning with RDDP 2014-2034. Apart from me, these fears are expressed by Executive Director of URBAN DESIGN RESEARCH INSTITUTE (UDRI), in his letter to Archbishop Cardinal Oswald Gracias. Copy of the letter is below.


The following communication, both with, BMC and Archbishop, will enlighten you further about the crisis.




Cardinal Oswald Gracias 1






A7 Rodrigues Compound, Malwani Village, Marve Rd.

Malad(W), Mumbai – 400095;

Contact: Cell: 9870719628; E Mail: pereiragreg1611@gmail.com

8th, September, 2016



Most Rev. Cardinal Oswald Gracias,


Archdiocese of Bombay;



Your Eminence


SUB:  Effect of RDDP 2014- 2034 on Churches and other Christian Institutions.


At the onset, I thank you for your e mail, appreciating my letter to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and BMC Commissioner Ajoy Mehta on subject matter.


Reports in the media, particularly about the Municipal Commissioner’s feeble attempt, in explaining, how he is right in deleting the Churches and other institutions, from DP, through the letter to you;  galvanized me into countering his claim, which I did.


Your Eminence, it disappoints us that we learn from the media about Municipal Commissioners letter to you and not from your office. I must emphatically stress over here that it is the lay members of the community, took up this issue with the BMC administration. Organizations like Save our Land – SOUL, Watchdog Foundation and Bombay East Indian Association (BEIA), along with other associations, from day one got into action studying the effects of DP on our institutions. We conducted various workshops to educate members of the community including the clergy. We educated people about filing of objections. A SILENT PROTEST was organized at AZAD MAIDAN by us, where many members of the clergy also were present to address the gathering. Only then the Archdiocesan administration woke up. Hence, it was incumbent upon you or your office, to take these associations into confidence and share the information with them. This is a highly technical and cumbersome matter; therefore, needs to be handled with technical expertise.


From the media, we also learnt that Bishop Dominic Savio Fermandes, along with Fr. Richard Crasto met the Municipal Commissioner. It is not known as to what was discussed at the meeting. However, it doesn’t seem to be very fruitful one. Otherwise, the Commissioner would not be in a hurry to write to you, explaining what he has.


We, in our letter to MC have emphasized on section 22(b) of MRTP ACT of 1966, which makes it mandatory for Municipalities to designate certain institutions on DP. We have brought this to the notice of Municipal Commissioner. Was this matter referred to, in the meeting by the delegation lead by Bishop Dominic Savio fernandes? We doubt very much.


We are given to understand, Mr. Pankaj Joshi, Executive Director, of URBAN DESIGN RESEARCH INSTITUTE (UDRI), in his letter to you, has expressed his concerns about deletion of Churches and other Christian institutions from DP. He has also delved on its long term effect on Churches, like we have done, in our letter to Municipal Commissioner. Unfortunately, this letter too, was not revealed to any of the associations working for the cause. One of the recipients, to whom the copy was marked, gauging the seriousness, forwarded it to us. Hence we came to know about it.


We are a small entity, particularly I; but UDRI is an institution, watching over authorities, planning the city of Mumbai.  Since they have sent you an SOS expressing certain fear, it certainly is a serious matter and they need to be taken seriously. They have advised you to look into it legally. We are sure you will heed their advice. However, there is a need to tackle this issue administratively too, which our team is doing in best possible way. Our team met Chief Minister and apprised him of the anomalies in the DP. Perhaps because of that he has appointed a three member panel to hear the objections submitted by people.


Your Eminence, We have emphasized time and again that some elements are at play to erase CHRISTIAN IDENTITY OF this great CITY OF MUMBAI. It is no more a secret as to who the entity is. I have written number of letters to you, during various attempts by BMC, to demolish HOLY CROSSES, lining the streets of Mumbai. These HOLY CROSSES, most of them over a century old  Symbolize  age of Christian Mumbai, which these elements are trying to erase. It was discussed personally during one of our meetings, where I sounded you of this imminent danger; the danger of gradual erosion of Christian Identity from the city of Mumbai. I remember, you have assigned the task to form a committee to Fr. Warner D’souza and the committee also was formed. But so far not a single meeting was called. Anyways, that is not an issue over here.


We as citizens and Lay Catholics are doing our duty of protecting our Churches and other institutions in best possible way. However, now that danger is lurking at our doorstep; the danger of our CHRISTIAN IDENTITY OF THE CITY OF MUMBAI being obliterated; we, expect you to take a stand as a leader, against this evil and lead the community in this time of crisis. BMC commissioner has made his point clear that he is going ahead with what he has decided, despite directives from Chief Minister to appoint a panel to grant personal hearings to the persons who have submitted objections; and also ignoring section 22(b) of MRTP ACT of 1966.


Your Eminence, since last two and half years, things have changed for the Christians in this secular country. Our religious symbols are being targeted and attacked. Just a week ago, one more HOLY CROSS was desecrated in Juhu, where people from higher strata of the society live. This is not a first incident nor will it be a last one. Complaints to police authorities elicit a standard response. “It is a handy work of a drug addict or a drunkard”. After some time the matter is forgotten and we wait for it to repeat at some other place at some other time. These things occur because the elements creating this nuisance have blessings from their masters.


It is about time, your eminence, for you to stand up and let the powers that be, know that we are not going to take this injustice lying down anymore. We never expected any favorable response from BMC Commissioner, because he seems to be under the spell of that unconstitutional authority, which is governing the country by proxy at present. We therefore, call upon you to escalate our protest at higher level.


We urge you to seek an appointment with Chief Minister and lead a delegation yourself, comprising of knowledgeable persons, including members from SOUL, WatchDog and BEIA, who have created awareness among the masses with their tireless efforts. I wonder if it helps, because it is believed, the CM himself is follower of the same unconstitutional authority. But it certainly will create a flutter all over the country as well in the world media, which will be difficult for the authorities to ignore.


To begin with, I, on behalf of team of SOUL, WatchDog and BEIA request you to grant us an appointment, so that we can brief you personally and chalk out further strategy.


Your Eminence, let us work together to protect our identity. Time is running out for us. This seems to be just a test case by the elements trying to obliterate identity of Christianity from the city; and if we fail to protect it, we are doomed. There could be darker days ahead and we’ll be unable to do anything, then. So please come forward and lead us in our fight for existence.


We shall be waiting eagerly for a call from you.


Yours always, in OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST;








Copy to:                  1. Dolphy D;souza:                SOUL

  1. Adv. Godfrey Pimenta:    WatchDog
  2. Adv. Vivian D’souza:        BEIA



Dear Greg,


I hope you are keeping well.


Thank you for your email of August 19, 2016 which I have just seen. I am passing on your letter to Fr. Richard Crasto, our Estate Officer. I thank you for your active interest in the matter and for keeping me informed.


I had spoken to the Municipal Commissioner and sent Bishop Dominic Savio Fernandes to meet him. He has replied to me and this has been reported in the press. We are having his reply studied.


With kind regards and best wishes,


Yours sincerely in Christ,



+ Oswald Cardinal Gracias

Archbishop of Bombay





A7 Rodrigues Compound, Malwani Village, Marve Rd.

Malad(W), Mumbai – 400095;

Contact: Cell: 9870719628; E Mail: pereiragreg1611@gmail.com


19th, August, 2016;


Chief Minister,

Shri Devendra Fadnavis,                                 copy:







Shri Ajoy Mehta

Commissioner BMC,

BMC Headquarter,

Mumbai – 400001;




Most Respected

Commissioner, BMC;


SUB:  Revised Draft Development Plan (RDDP) – 2034


At the onset, I wish to draw your attention to two media reports related to subject matter, with my comments and views about it. No, they are not only mine, but most of the citizens of Mumbai think alike.


On August, 16 2016, Mirror (Mumbai) reported under caption, ‘State appoints three experts to review DP’; a heartening news for every Mumbaikar, who has arrived at the conclusion that Revised Plan is worst than the earlier one. Your DP report states, proudly so, that around ONE THOUSAND BMC staff worked to correct the DP. But looking at the Revised DP, about which hue and cry was raised by the citizens, the THOUSAND STAFF has done nothing; only wasted taxpayer’s money. No wonder, the State government also opined that something is wrong with DP; hence appointed committee of experts to review it.


Media Report also states that “The panel will hear each and every suggestion objection within two months, after which a consolidated report will be made. This report be placed before the civic general body to discuss and give approval in 60 days to send to the state government for final approval”. Every Mumbaikar who has submitted objections/suggestion is waiting anxiously for the call from the expert panel for hearing. I certainly, am looking forward to it.


Within twenty four hours there was another news report, contradictory to the earlier one. “August, 17 2016; in The Times of India (Mumbai), captioned,`Not marking churches in DP not an omission’ BMC Chief Writes To Archbishop To Allay Community Apprehensions.


Mr. Commissioner, do you think we, the members of Christian Community are so naïve, to not understand your game plan? Are you trying to overrule authority of Chief Minister? Task assigned by Chief Minister to Expert Panel has not even begun and you are out with your decision. Haven’t you received the directive/intimation from Chief Minister’s office? Anyway, you have jumped the gun, nevertheless.


It is a smart move addressing the Archbishop, thinking that the community, who is agitated by flaws in the DP, the deliberate ones with ill intention in long run, will be silent over omission of Churches and other Christian Institutions from the DP. You are mistaken Mr. Commissioner. The community is vary of such moves by you and was waiting with Hawk Eye. You are very well aware, most of the objections are from Christian Community on this issue.


“Designation”, this is the word you have tried to emphasize on, in the letter to Archbishop. “a public amenity provided or aided by an appropriate authority on a parcel of land. Designations by inference are reservations that have already been developed. It also follows that designations were reservations in the earlier DPs and have since fructified in terms of provisions of specified public amenities. Hence, all designations in the earlier DPs those already stand developed would post-development continue to be termed as designations in the subsequent DPs. Such designations continue till the time they exist, unless altered or rescinded by an order of the competent authority,“ states the letter.


Can you see the sentence in bold Mr. Commissioner? That is where the catch is. The same very sentence has exposed your ill intention. I will explain to you with an example:


St. Anthony Church, Malwani; located on CTS No. 1667 of Village Malwani, division Borivali has been shown in the DP of 1991,  but missing from DP 2034. Your logic suits perfectly over here. However, in the Designation Survey of 2034 CTS No. 1667 is ‘Designated’ as Christian Cemetery as well as in the column of ‘Actual use on site’. For your information, CTS No. 1667 is a large tract of land on which stands a four hundred years old Church, over one hundred and fifty years old Parochial house, a mini hall and a very small part of it is taken by cemetery. I wonder how the surveyor could have missed this. No, the surveyor has not missed anything. It is your long term plan, which I have mentioned above coupled with the bold statement, to create problem for the community in future. This is the case with all the other institutions, which have not been marked in DP 2034. Community is apprehensive about this ploy of yours.


Besides, ignoring the directives from Chief Minister, you have also bypassed the law. Section 22 (b) of MRTP Act, 1966, stipulates the proposals for designation of land for public purpose, such as schools, colleges and other educational institutions, medical and public health institutions, markets, social welfare and cultural institutions, theatres and places for public entertainment, or public assembly, museums, art galleries, religious buildings and government and other public buildings as may from time to time be approved by the State Government. Every designations mentioned in the said Section 22 (b) has been duly marked in Revised draft Development Plan except for the religious buildings. To understand my claim, please go through the legends marked at the bottom of every DP sheet, in case you are not aware of it.


Do you have any explanation now, Mr. Commissioner? If you do, then let us know through any medium that suits you. However, I shall be waiting for a call from expert panel for the hearing, appointed by Chief Minister, Shri Devendra Fadnavis.


Appointment of expert panel by Chief Minister, we believe, is because of presentation of the memorandum to him by the delegation of the team comprising of SOUL – Save our Land, WatchDog Foundation, Bombay East Indian Association (BEIA), accompanied by MLA, Shri Nasim Khan. This delegation had also presented a memorandum to Chief Engineer (DP), during the SILET PROTEST at AZAD MAIDAN.


Meanwhile, Mr. Commissioner, you have no option, but to mark every religious place in the DP 2034 as prescribed in MRTP Act 22(b), and wait for the findings of expert panel appointed by Chief Minister.


While concluding this letter, I came across another statement from your letter to Archbishop. “Acquisition is a two-way street. Either the MCGM as the planning authority can initiate acquisition or the owner could seek its acquisition after a lapse of ten years. In case of churches under discussion, this is neither the intended purpose of the BMC nor of the owning private body“.  Was it necessary for you Mr. Commissioner, to make specific reference to Churches? I wonder, why?






Copy to: Oswald Cardinal Gracias: Archbishop of Mumbai.




churches-udri-let-p-first churches-udri-let-p1 churches-udri-let-p2-1













Imitate Slain French Priest: Cardinal Oswald Gracias to Clergy;

Nirmala CarvalhoAugust 11, 2016

An Indian cardinal and one of Pope Francis’ closest advisers said that the slaying of an 85-year-old French priest was a “monstrous” act, and called on his clergy to follow the elderly priest’s example of service “up to the end.”
 On July 26, 2016 Fr. Jacques Hamel was killed when two attackers slit the throat of the 86-year-old priest who was celebrating Mass at Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, in France, killing him and gravely injuring another of the handful of church-goers present before being shot to death by police. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the first attack in a church in the West

Undated Image of Fr. Jacques Hamel

MUMBAI – Cardinal Oswald Gracias has urged his clergy in the Archdiocese of Mumbai to imitate Father Jacques Hamel, the French priest killed in July by two men professing loyalty to the Islamic State – if not so much in the way Hamel died, then in how he lived.

Praising Hamel’s pastoral generosity and his “ultimate sacrifice,” Gracias urged priests to follow his example to be of service “up to the end.”

Visibly emotional, Gracias told his priests not to grieve or mourn Hamel’s tragic end, but to imitate this “great pastor.”  Citing Pope Francis’  apostolic exhortation “Evangelic Gaudium,” he asked priests to have a “missionary impulse capable of transforming everything.”

“Let us all become agents of peace; of joy and of the resurrection,” Gracias said.

Gracias was speaking at an annual meeting of clergy in Mumbai held at the archdiocesan seminary, regarded locally as the first of a new ecclesiastical year since it follows announcements of priests’ transfers in June.

Gracias praised Hamel’s pastoral mission and ultimate sacrifice, and called on priests to be agents of peace, fraternity and solidarity.

The cardinal opened the meeting by pausing along with the priests in silence for two minutes for Hamel, and then said his example is destined “to impact the pastoral ministry of all priests today.”

The grisly slaying of Hamel, whose throat was slit while he was celebrating Mass in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray in Normandy, shocked the public and stoked new fears of Islamic terrorism in Europe. There have been calls to declare Hamel a martyr, and the hashtag #santosubito – “saint now!,” the same cry heard at the funeral Mass of St. Pope John Paul II in 2005, trended on Twitter.

Speaking exclusively to Crux, Gracias, who serves as president of both the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences and the Catholic Bishops’s Conference of India, and who’s also a member of Pope Francis’ council of cardinal advisers, decried the “cold-blooded” murder of the French priest.

“The Church in Asia grieves at the cold-blooded killing of a man of God in a house of worship, this holy priest who dedicated his entire life to Serving God and the people,” he said. “Though we can never completely comprehend the immensity of evil, from the depths of our hearts we cry out to God.”

Gracias called for prayers for both Hamel’s family, and also for those who put him to death.

“The Church in Asia is filled with sorrow at this senseless cowardly act,” he said. “Our prayers should go out for the families of the victims and for the perpetrators.”

Gracias noted that Hamel was killed while saying Mass, where Catholics believe Jesus is present in the Eucharist.

“Now our elderly priest sacrifice is joined/united to the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, and I pray that this will bring peace and tranquility to our disturbed world,” he said.

The cardinal insisted that despite the horror of what happened, good will come of Hamel’s sacrifice.

“We shall not be disheartened or give up hope, armed with the weapons of prayer and fasting, we combat with good the forces of darkness and evil,” he said. “His blood will bear fruits for the Catholic Church in carrying out its mission for the global community.”

Gracias said that in the face of mounting terror and violence, one has to have faith in God’s capacity to use evil for good.

“We must remember that the Triune God is the creator of all that exists and has the power to do more than we can possibly imagine,” he said. “From the depths of our hearts, the Church in Asia prays for our World so ravaged by the monstrosity of darkness and violence.”


Stamp of ‘St. Teresa’: What could be more appropriate gesture than this one;

Vatican prepares ‘St Teresa’ stamp


The Vatican Philatelic and Numismatic Office announced the stamp’s release on Friday

The Vatican will anticipate the canonisation of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta with a special postage stamp, which will be released on September 2, two days before Pope Francis officially declares her a saint.

The Vatican Philatelic and Numismatic Office announced the stamp’s release on Friday and distributed initial images of it.

The 95-cent stamp features a wrinkled but radiant Mother Teresa smiling in her blue-trimmed, white sari. Overlaid on the design by Patrizio Daniele is another image of her holding the hand of a small child.

“Frail but equally determined in her vocation, Mother Teresa loved God and the church with great strength, simplicity and extraordinary humility, glorifying with her life the dignity of a most humble service,” said the brochure announcing the stamp’s release.

“She was a humble messenger of the Gospel and of Christ’s love, known as ‘a small pencil in the hands of the Lord,’ doing her work quietly and always with great love,” it said. “She assisted the poor, the sick and the abandoned with tireless dedication, offering smiles and simple gestures, finding strength to persevere with her vocation through prayer and trust in God.”

The philatelic office said it would print and sell a maximum of 150,000 sheets of 10 stamps each.

Meanwhile, the poor, the suffering and those who minister to them will be at the center of celebrations leading up to the canonisation of Blessed Teresa at the Vatican.

The main event — the canonisation Mass — will begin at 10.30am on September 4, the Vatican announced on Friday.

A “family feast” for the poor, a musical, Masses and prayer vigils will precede her canonisation, according to programmes published by the
Vatican and by the Missionaries of Charity, the order she founded.

Known as the “saint of the gutters,” Mother Teresa was revered for ministering to the sick and the dying in some of the world’s poorest neighborhoods.

Born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in 1910 to an ethnic Albanian family in Skopje, in what is now part of Macedonia, Mother Teresa went to India as a Sister of Loreto in 1929. Receiving what she described as a “call within a call,” she began her missionary work with the poor and laid the foundation for what would become the Missionaries of Charity.

Following her death in 1997, St John Paul II waived the usual five-year waiting period and allowed the opening of the process to declare her sainthood. She was beatified in 2003.

The date of Mother Teresa’s canonisation will coincide with the conclusion of the Year of Mercy pilgrimage for workers and ministers engaged in works of mercy.

Here are the main events planned around the canonisation of Mother Teresa:

— September 1: “feast for the poor and Missionaries of Charity family,” including a musical based on Mother Teresa’s life.

— September 2: Masses in various languages in Rome’s Basilica of St Anastasia al Palatino and veneration of her relics. In the evening, a prayer vigil with solemn eucharistic adoration will be held at Rome’s Basilica of St John Lateran with Cardinal Agostino Vallini, the papal vicar of Rome, presiding.

— September 3: Catechesis by Pope Francis for the jubilee celebration of workers and volunteers for mercy. In the evening, a prayer and musical meditation will be held at Rome’s Basilica of St Andrea della Valle followed by veneration of Mother Teresa’s relics and Mass.

— September 4: Canonisation Mass – pilgrims will be able to venerate St Teresa’s relics in the evening at the Basilica of St John Lateran.

— September 5: Celebration of a Mass of thanksgiving and the first feast of St Teresa of Calcutta in St Peter’s Basilica with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, presiding. Pilgrims will be able to venerate the relics of St Teresa at St. John Lateran in the evening.

— September 6: Continuing veneration of the relics of St Teresa at St John Lateran.

— September 7-8: Veneration of the relics of St Teresa of Calcutta at Rome’s Church of St Gregory the Great, along with the possibility of visiting her room at the convent of St Gregory.


A Book by Anto Akkara: Who Killed Swamy Laxmananand: Story of Kandhamal;

Jurist calls Kandhamal book a wake-up call for nation

 Jesuit Father Ambrose Pinto, a social analyst, referring to how the author has proved that the Swami’s murder and subsequent conflagration was a well-planned conspiracy, said the book “lays out the agenda of hate of the Sangh Parivar.”

Though Maoists had claimed responsibility, the book points out, prosecution chose to indict Christians.

Bengaluru:A book investigating the sequence of events connected with anti-Christian violence in Odisha’s Kandhamal district is a “wake up call” for the nation, says Advocate-General of Karnataka Ravivarma Kumar.

“The content of the book has grave implications for Indian democracy,’ Kumar said while releasing the book, ‘Who killed Swami Laxmanananda?’ on July 23 in Bangalore.

Journalist Anto Akkara authored the book after several years of research and studies on why seven Christians were convicted for the murder despite courts having no adequate proofs.

Kumar, the senior lawyer noted that the Christians were given life terms despite the fact that there was “no eyewitness to the murder and hardly any evidence.”

The murder on Aug. 23, 2008 triggered the violence against Christians claiming nealry100 lives. The three-month long pogrom also destroyed 300 churches and displaced some 56,000 Christians as Hindu fanatics torched 6,000 Christians houses. The violence was result of an orchestrated rumor that the swami’s murder was a Christian conspiracy.

In dealing with the pogrom and the cases related to it, “the legislature and the executive have lost credibility, and the Judiciary is the last bastion of hope for the nation,” Kumar said.

“A disaster is unfolding on the nation. We need to wake up, even if just five of us or a handful, and we must fight any injustice so that justice is upheld,” the senior advocate said.

Jesuit Father Ambrose Pinto, a social analyst, referring to how the author has proved that the Swami’s murder and subsequent conflagration was a well-planned conspiracy, said the book “lays out the agenda of hate of the Sangh Parivar.”

He recalled that the Sangh Parivar had been associated with anti-national activities and the spreading of hate since pre-Independence times. They had cooperated with the colonizers, were active in anti-Muslim violence during Partition, and later in Gandhiji’s assassination.

The author with a multimedia presentation, claimed contract killers were engaged to murder of the swami and innocent Christians – six of them illiterates – were convicted to life imprisonment by a fraudulent trial. The effort is to perpetrate the fraud that the swami’s murder was a Christian conspiracy.

“Nearly three years after the conviction, their appeal is yet to come up for hearing in Odisha High Court. The verdict was given by a third judge after two Fast Track Court judges were transferred,” Akkara pointed out.

“The conviction of the seven innocents without a shred of evidence against them is a blot on the judicial system of the country,” lamented Akkara urging all present to sign the online petition for their release at http://www.release7 innocents.com.

Though Maoists had claimed responsibility, the book points out, prosecution chose to indict Christians. The book shows how the Sangh Parivar had engineered the violence, hoping the federal government would dismiss the Odisha government in which the BJP was a coalition partner then. That would have given them advantage in the national elections in 2009, the book reasoned.

But alerted to this game-plan by intelligence reports, the UPA government refrained, derailing the Sangh’s wild expectations, Akkara claimed.

 Courtesy: UCANews…


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