Orissa violence: Christian schools to remain shut Friday

August 29th, 2008 - 12:42 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) Christian schools and colleges across the country will remain shut Friday to protest the continued violence against the community in Orissa, where at least 11 people have died in communal riots.The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI), which met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Thursday, has called a “peaceful protest” to highlight the issue.

“All the (Christian) schools and colleges across the country like St. Stephen’s College in Delhi will observe the shutdown. We want a high level enquiry by CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) into the death of Christians,” CBCI spokesman Babu Joseph told IANS.

Orissa has been on the boil since Saturday evening when Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, a member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and four others were killed at his Jalespata ashram in Kandhamal. Saraswati was campaigning against religious conversions and cow slaughter. His killing triggered violence against the Christian community by the Hindus in the state.

“We met the prime minister and he assured us he would take all steps to bring peace and normalcy. He also assured that he would give monetary support to our people from the Prime Ministers’ Relief Fund,” Joseph said.

Joseph, however, said that Manmohan Singh did not spell out the amount to be given as compensation.

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