ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Violence against Christians

We strongly condemn the inhuman violence inflicted by fundamentalist Hindu organisations against members of the Christian community, largely dalit and tribal, in Orissa and the violation of their places of worship since August 2008. While the killing of Swami Laxmanananda and his associates should be investigated and the law of the land be allowed to prevail, there is absolutely no justification whatsoever for the violence that has been unleashed. For years now the Hindu fundamentalist organisations have sought to take the law into their hands and to have the right to dispense mob justice on the basis of assumed guilt of an entire community. This needs to be put to an end.

It is also a matter of extreme concern that the state and its law-enforcing agencies in Orissa are allowing the violence to continue while thousands of dalit and tribal Christian families have been intimidated and forced to flee their homes and lands, and seek refuge in the forests, and subsequently in relief camps, reminiscent of what happened in Gujarat in 2002. The Orissa government is turning a blind eye to the sufferings of these people and not allowing any relief from outside to reach the victims. Of equal concern are the multiple attacks on Christian houses of worship in Karnataka, a systematic and planned campaign by the Hindu Right. The complicity of the state in condoning such violence against communities on religious grounds, therefore, is a cause of great concern. We recognise that the perpetrators of such violence are both antinational and irreligious.

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