Thursday, August 28, 2008

Letter to Sonia Gandhi

Dr. John Dayal
Member: National Integration Council, Government of India

On behalf of
All India Catholic Union and Federation of Catholic Associations of
All India Christian Council
Truth-Seakers International
Christabhaktamandali, Maharashtra
United Christian Action, Delhi

505 Link, 18 IP Extension, Delhi 110092 India
Phone: 91-11-22722262 Mobile 09811021072

28 August 2008
Honourable Mrs Sonia Gandhi
Congress President and Chairperson, UPA
10 Janpath, New Delhi

Respected Madam


Re: Call to end Ethnic cleansing of Christians in Orissa

I am writing this to bring to your notice the utter failure of the
Government of Orissa to bring a halt to the killing of Christians, the
destruction of their properties and the persecution of their Church in
the state in general, and in the district of Kandhamal in particular.

Although the Orissa government is a coalition of the Biju Janata Dal
and the Bharatiya Janata Party, it is the BJP which is running the
show and has complete control of the government, the police and the
relief and rehabilitation ministries. The government has also given
full freedom to the RSS, the VHP to carry on their aggression on the
Christian community.

I would like to point out that the Christian community has
unequivocally denounced the murder of VHP vice president
Lakshmanananda Saraswati who was killed in Kandhamal some days ago,
reportedly by Maoist groups. The state government failed thrice. They
failed in December 2007 to protect Christians from VHP and RSS
violence in which more then 100 churches were destroyed and thousands
rendered homeless. They failed again this time when about 30
Christians have been killed, a nun gang raped, another woman burnt
alive, many priests grievously injured and hundreds of houses burnt. I
am attaching herewith the list of persons killed, injured and
destruction of Churches in the last four days.

There is urgent need to restore peace, to stop the targeting and
persecution of Christians which is tantamount to the Ethnic Cleansing
of Christians from Orissa. BHP and its leaders like Praveen Togadia
have openly said is their avowed target

We request that:

1. The Union Government must authorise the Army to move its troops
into affected blocks of Kandhamal district where the local police and
RAF have failed miserably.

2. The Centre must order a CBI enquiry into the murder of the VHP
leader, and he ensuing violence to trace the guilty in both cases.

3. Urgent compensation to the kin of the dead and the injured, relief
and rehabilitation must be taken so that the tens of thousands of
Christians now hiding in the forest of and other districts can return
home. Government must rebuild their house and also rebuild every
single church that has been destroyed.

Dear Madam, it is the fair name of India that is being tarnished in
this anti Christian violence. The Union Government has to act, and it
has to make the State Government to wake up to its Constitutional

I am sure you will advice the Union government and request the Prime
Minister to do whatever is necessary in this regard.

Thanking you

Yours faithfully

Dr John Dayal