URGENT FAX 25 August 2008
TO PRESIDENT OF INDIA
SEEKING ARMY / CENTRAL FORCES INTERVENTION TO PROTECT CHRISTIANS IN
ORISSA AS NUN IS RAPED, PRIESTS INJURED, CHURCHES AND OFFICES BURNT IN
PRESENCE OF POLICE
Hon'ble Mrs., Pratibha Patil
President of India
Greetings from a grieving community.
You are aware of the still continuing carnage against the Christian
community, mostly Dalits and Tribals, in the Kandhamal district of
Orissa and in several other districts including the state capital of
Bhubaneswar since 23rd August 2003 following the killing of Vishwa
Hindu Parishad leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati, reportedly by
Maoist groups who have been operating in the state for some time.
The Christian leadership in the country has unequivocally condemned
the killing of the VHP leader and his four associates.
The Christians of Kandhamal are still nursing their wounds from the
Christmas 2007 violence, with hundreds of them still living in a
refugee camp in Barakhama. Most of the more than One hundred churches
then destroyed remain in ruins, and the burnt houses are still to be
And yet local Sangh leaders have targeted the community in a second
wave of macabre violence.
A nun has been raped in Kandhamal, a Catholic father grievously
injured, scores of houses in villages destroyed, apart from Churches
and institutions. I attach herewith a partial list of the damage in
the violence in the past two days. We in Delhi are overwhelmed with
panic messages from Priests, pastors, nuns and common people who look
to New Delhi for help as the State machinery ahs collapsed once again.
Changing of superintendents of police as a knee jerk reaction does not
provide security to Christians. In fact, much of the violence is
taking place with the insufficient police force looking on. This had
been the case in 2007 December, as has come out in the on going
hearings of the Justice Basudeo Panigrahi Commission. Christian
delegations have informed the State Governor, the State Chief Minister
and the Home Minister of India of the dire situation of our community
Dear Madame President,
This is to request you to use your powers as President of India, and
the tremendous force of your good offices, to impress on the Central
Government to rush adequate Union forces, including contingents of the
Armed Forces if required, to restore law and order and governance in
the Kandhamal region.
The consequences of any further delay, I fear, may be catastrophic for
our Christian community in the State in particular, for peace in
Orissa in general, and for the fair name of India as a secular country.
God Bless you
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
FAX to President to intervene
URGENT FAX 25 August 2008