Wife of murdered Christian pastor seeks compensation from local and national governments
What’s at Stake:
Right to full compensation of victims of religiously motivated violence
Debe Madi’s husband, a pastor, was murdered by members of a communist guerrilla group in August 2015. He was just 29 years old. Left with three children aged eight, six and two, Debe sought to take advantage of a government scheme that provides compensation to families affected by such violence. Yet nearly two years on, Debe is still waiting for the full payment due to her.
Pastor Gurumurthy Madi had served many needy people in Malkangiri, Odisha. Through his work, two Naxal commanders—members of a communist guerrilla group—gave themselves up to local police. After this he was able to convince a further 22 Naxals to surrender themselves to the Malkangiri Superintendent of Police.
This growing reformation attracted the attention of other Naxal leaders, who demanded that Pastor Madi return all those members of the group who had given themselves up to the police. When he refused to hand over a fellow pastor who was a former Naxal, Madi was murdered.
Although his wife Debe was entitled by law to compensation because of his murder, she did not receive it. The Odisha Legal Aid Centre filed a writ petition on her behalf, seeking the assistance due to her in accordance with both national and state legislation.
At a hearing at the High Court of Odisha in November 2016, the State Government said that it had handed over its share of compensation to Mrs Madi. But the Counsel for the Central Government sought more time to get specific instructions regarding the payment of compensation. The Central Government is still yet to pay compensation to Debe Madi.
Our Role in the Case
ADF India, through allied attorney Pratap Chhinchani, filed the Writ Petition on behalf of Mrs Debe Madhi and is also arguing the case on her behalf.