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In India, religious violence leaves long trail of refugee camps

Indian Christians who fled from violence two years ago are still living in refugee camps, a German delegation found this week. Muslims and Hindus who faced persecution eight and 20 years ago also remain displaced.

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Many Christians displaced by deadly religious riots two years ago in the Indian state of Orissa remain in camps today, a delegation of German parliamentarians discovered this week, highlighting the enduring aftermath that often follows sporadic violence.

“We saw the miserable situation of people without proper homes and livelihood opportunities. Most of them are yet to be compensated adequately,” they said. In a press release cited here, they also noted that “even after two years, police have not registered several complaints and justice is not done to the community. Only a few of the responsible have been convicted for the communal violence.”

Two years, however, is relatively short compared with India's overall track record in reintegrating the victims of periodic religious rioting. Eight years after deadly riots in Gujarat, displaced Muslims remain in ghettos where religious aid groups have been accused of imposing Taliban-style rules. And Kashmiri Hindus remain in refugee camps outside Kashmir some two decades after being targeted in the Muslim-majority state.

A 'country of particular concern'

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