Mumbai Christians protest violence in Orissa’’s Kandhamal District

September 8th, 2008 - 12:38 pm ICT by ANI  

Mumbai/Patna, Sep 8 (ANI): Christians took out a rally in Mumbai on Sunday to protest against the recent violence in Orissa’’s Kandhamal District.
Eminent social activists Teesta Setelvad and Swami Agnivesh joined the rally, expressing concern on the attacks against the minority community.
“Violence in Orissa, right from December 2007 and even prior to December 2003 has been perpetrated, creation of mobs in different villages, by the VHP and the Bajrang Dal, which is why we are demanding the banning of the Bajrang Dal and the VHP. But the essential question is, - will there be a rule (of law) in this country or will there be a mob rule in this country?” said Setelvad.
Meanwhile in Patna, members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) protested against the killing of the Hindu leader Swami Lakshmananda and demanded death sentence for the guilty.
“We are demonstrating against the killing of Swami Lakshmananda by Christian missionaries and we are going to the Governor to put forth our demand of giving death sentence to the murderers of Swami Lakshmananda,” said Saint Madhavacharya, a VHP activist.
On August 23, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati along with four other people was shot dead in his Jalaspeta Ashram near Tumudibandha in Kandhamal District.
The remote and forested Kandhamal region is rife with religious tension between hardline Hindus who accuse Christian priests of bribing poor tribes and low-caste Hindus to change their faith.
The region is also a stronghold of Maoist rebels and police said that there is evidence to link the rebels to last week’’s murders.
The police sources said that by attacking Hindus, the Maoists were trying to win support among the region’’s poor tribes, many of whom have converted to Christianity. (ANI)

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