Christian groups demand special probe into communal violenceOctober 16th, 2008 - 2:25 pm ICT by IANS
Bhubaneswar, Oct 16 (IANS) Estimating that 100 Christians may have died and 100,000 displaced since Aug 24, two global Christian organisations have asked the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to institute a special probe into the killing of a Hindu leader in Orissa and the communal violence it triggered in several states.The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) and the Federation of Indian Christian Organisations of North America (FIACONA) have submitted a memorandum to the NHRC stating their demand.
“There seems to be a larger conspiracy behind the attack on Christians and that needs to be investigated,” said GCIC president Sajan K. George.
“All Christian organisations have condemned the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati in Orissa’s Kandhamal district but we are totally dismayed at the ongoing attacks on Christians, their houses and institutions that continue unabated in Orissa and other parts of the country,” George told IANS.
He said at least 100 have been killed, more than 50,000 displaced and 100,000 Christians affected by the violence that followed the Aug 23 killing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader.
“We have requested the NHRC chairperson Justice S. Rajendra Babu to form a special investigation team to probe all these incidents of violence.”
While Orissa was the worst hit, other states like Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, New Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Uttarakhand also witnessed violence, George added.
The Bangalore based GCIC president, who visited several relief camps here, said 83 people were killed in Orissa. “We have documented 57 of them.”
In their calculation, he said, 95 cases of violence against Christians took place this year in Karnataka; of these, 72 incidents occurred after the new Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government assumed power in June.
Officially, the Orissa government says 36 people have been killed since Aug 23.