Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Christians insecure in Orissa: Sister Nirmala

Sister Nirmala, the leader of Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, on Tuesday met Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at his residence to discuss the attacks on Christians in Kandhmal district.
Though she appeared satisfied about certain steps taken by the government, Sister Nirmala was concerned about the sense of insecurity and fear that prevents thousands of Christians in relief camps from returning to their homes.
"I have talked to the Chief Minister about it. He knows and they will take the steps. They cannot go back now unless things are settled for them. Things have to be controlled. That's their responsibility," she said after the meeting.

"I spoke to her in detail about the steps the government is taking to see that law and order is maintained and that peace and calm is restored to the district," rejoined the Chief Minister.
Kandhmal has been relatively calm for last 3 days. But it's the nun rape case that's bothering police the most. So far, 5 people have been arrested, but a police team sent to Delhi to bring the nun back has not been able to trace her.
Orissa DGP Manmohan Praharaj says: "They have been trying to persuade the Sister and others who are associated with her to return to Orissa participate in the judicial proceedings so that these miscreants are quickly punished."
There are conflicting reports about the whereabouts of the nun. Sources have told NDTV she's back in Orissa and will testify before a magistrate in utmost secrecy. But until she is available to the police for further inquiry, the case will continue to haunt the state government.

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Situation is bad in Kandhamal: Sister Nirmala

Bhubaneswar, October 7: The Missionaries of Charity has been assured by the Orissa government of strong measures being taken in troubled Kandhamal district, its Superior General, Sister Nirmala said on Tuesday.

"The situation is not good at all, but the state government has started taking strong measures," Sister Nirmala told reporters after meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

She hoped that the state administration would continue to work to contain the violence.

During her talks with the Chief Minister, she said, they talked about the need for return of peace in tribal-dominated Kandhamal district.

The violence there has claimed at least 35 lives and houses and churches were burnt after the killing of the VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati and four others on the night of August 23.

Asked whether she had faith in the Orissa government, Sister Nirmala said, "I have faith. Having faith encourages one to do good work."

On the allegations by some Hindu organisations that Christians had engineered the attack on Saraswati, Sister Nirmala said it was the work of the police to find the truth.

"That is for the the police in Orissa to ascertain. Truth must prevail," she said.

The nun who was allegedly gangraped during the Orissa bandh on August 25 and was missing would return to the state if there was a 'proper' atmosphere, she said in reply to a question.

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