Sonia urged to intervene, check Orissa violence

August 28th, 2008 - 9:21 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 28 (IANS) A Christian activist has urged Congress president Sonia Gandhi to advice the central government to take steps and check communal violence in Orissa.The central government must authorise the army to move into affected blocks of Kandhamal district where the Orissa police and the Rapid Action Force (RAF) had “failed miserably” in controlling violence, National Integration Council member John Dayal has said in a letter to Gandhi.

“I have written the letter on behalf of the Christian community,” Dayal told IANS.

Communal clashes flared up in Orissa after Swami Lakshmananand Saraswati, a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader, and four others were killed in Kandhamal district Saturday evening. At least 11 people have been killed and several churches attacked across the state where many towns are under curfew.

“The central government must order a CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) inquiry into the murder of the VHP leader and the ensuing violence to trace the guilty in both cases,” Dayal wrote.

“Relief and rehabilitation steps must be taken so that the tens of thousands of Christians now hiding in the forests can return home. The government must rebuild their houses and also rebuild every single church that has been destroyed,” Dayal said.

A delegation of Christians also met the prime minister Thursday and submitted a memorandum in this regard, Dayal added.

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