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Relief Camps Attacked; Violence Erupts Again in Kandhamal, Orissa

September 5, 2008


EFI NEWS

1. Attacks on Relief Camps :

  • An attempt to poison the drinking water source of the relief camp in Habaq High School, Relief Camp at G. Udayagiri, Kandhamal was foiled by an alert security guard at 9 pm on 2nd September.
  • The Government Relief Camp at Vijay High School Raikia, Kandhamal reported that drinking water was poisoned on 3rd September 2008. Fortunately the fanatics evil plot was discovered in time just before the dinner was about to be served.
  • Six Christians fell ill because of the water poisoning and were taken to hospitals in Berhampur and Phulbani.
  • On Sept 4th a group of nearly 2500 Hindutva extremists barged into the Relief Camp at Tikabali Government High School shouted at the Christian refugees and took away supplies meant for the Christian refugees, while police were silent spectators to the event.
  • In another incident over 300 VHP incited tribal women attacked a relief camp for the Christian riot victims in Tikabali in Orissa\'s riot-hit Kandhmal district on Thursday, demanding food and employment. The women armed with lathis descended on the relief camp demanding food and relief for non-Christian population, who they say has been starving following the 12-day old curfew order clamped by the district administration to contain communal violence.

2. About 93 men including women and children from Kandhamal have trekked to Cuttack covering around 200 kms, fleeing from the torture at their own villages. They have been sheltered at Peyton Sahi, Cuttack by few members of Cuttack Oriya Church (Independent Baptist Church). The members are taking care of the needs through the personal support.

3. Kandhamal is boiling endlessly with news pouring in of Christian women being sexually assaulted in brutal display of aggression.

4. In Penagopri village in Tikabali, Kandhamal, about 35 Christian families were driven out. Even as they were taking refuge in the jungle they were lured back to the village by VHP led goons. Once they came back to the village they were held hostage and been given a chance to reconvert to Hinduism or face death.

5. Home of Pastor Sikander Singh of Nakeiguda, Bhavani Patna in Kalahandi was ransacked and looted. Even as they were running for their lives, one Hindu from the same village, B. Senapati gave refuge to the family and hid them until their attackers fled. Later Pastor Sikander along with his family left for Chattisgarh State and are at present taking shelter in EFI Correspondent Arpan Tarun’s house.

6. It has also come to our knowledge that Discipleship Centre’s regional office in Bhadrak District was also ransacked and looted and their furniture destroyed.


The International Community’s response to the VHP led genocide has again drawn strong reaction.

Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, International Director of the World Evangelical Alliance, expressed concern on the still continuing carnage against the Christian community, in the Kandhamal district of Orissa.

In a letter addressed to Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, he stated “for the last several months, the Government of Orissa has allowed some fascist and fundamentalist forces to terrorize the poor, the marginalized and the minorities of the State. These forces have carried on their virulent propaganda and their violent acts with apparent immunity.”

WEA further urged the Prime Minister to ensure that an adequate compensation is given to those affected by this man-made tragedy and to take all necessary action to ensure the protection of the minorities in India.

EFI has compiled a comprehensive list of database with assistance from Archbishop\'s House Bhubaneswar, John Dayal, Christian Legal Association, Light Foundation and EFI News reporters and other sources, which can be found at Orissa Christian Persecution Fact Finding Report. We will be updating this list time to time with the latest incidents as it comes to our knowledge. The list as of date, has been verified and the incidents are researched to establish their authenticity.

In the wake of this detailed information EFI solicits your letters, emails, faxes and phone calls to the State and Central officials, whose details are provided below.

Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India
Room No. 152,
South Block,
New Delhi, 110001

(O) Tel : +91-11-23012312
(O) Fax: +91-11-23016857


Smt. Pratibha Patil
Hon\'ble President of India

Rashtrapati Bhavan
New Delhi, 110001

(O) Tel: +91-11-23017290
(O) Fax: +91-11-23017824

Email: presidentofindia@rb.nic.in


Shri Navin Patnaik
Chief Minister of Orissa

Naveen Nivas,
Aerodrome Road,
P.O.-Bhubaneswar,
District-Khurda,
Pin-751001 (Orissa)

(O) Tel: +91-0674-2531100, 2535100, 2531500
(O) Fax: +91-0674-2400100
(R) Tel: +91-0674-2590299, 2591099,2590844,2591100,2590833

Email:cmo@ori.nic.in

Shri Amarananda Pattanayak, IPS
Director General of Police
(O) Tel:
+91-0671-2304451, 2306501
(O) Fax: +91-0671-2304033


Rev. Dr. Richard Howell

General Secretary
Evangelical Fellowship of India
New Delhi, India

Evangelical Fellowship of India (established 1951) is a charter member of World Evangelical Alliance, an accredited NGO with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations