Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Christmas in Orissa

Found this on the aol website.Here are excerpts.
CHURCH ATTACKED
In retaliation, some people attacked a church, set it on fire and attacked a vehicle at Baliguda town.The trouble had started Monday morning at the Christian-majority Brahmanigaon village, 150 km from the district headquarters of Phulbani, over celebrating Christmas.While the Christian community wanted to celebrate the day in a grand way, the local Hindus opposed the plan, Bhol said.This led to clashes between the Hindu and Christian groups. The attack on Saraswati led to escalation in the violence. Saraswati has his ashram in Tikabali.Although more than 1,000 policemen were deployed in the sensitive places Tuesday they could not reach many of the trouble spots as bandh supporters had blocked the roads leading to the villages with logs.Two companies of paramilitary forces and extra police force have been rushed to the area to control the situation.
THE KUI TRIBE
Besides the VHP bandh call, the local Kui tribal community had also given a shutdown call demanding immediate solution to their problems.The clashes took place mostly when bandh supporters attacked shops in various places.People of both communities have lodged police complaints against each other.Four people, all Hindus, have been held for inciting communal tension in the region. Besides, at least nine people have been arrested for attacking Saraswati, a police official said.According to reports, shops were closed and vehicular movement affected in places where the clashes had taken place as the VHP shutdown came into effect.Phulbani is considered one of the most communally sensitive districts in the state with numerous clashes reported between Hindus and Christians in the past.The VHP, which has called a press conference in Bhubaneshwar Wednesday, has claimed that its bandh was a grand success.The Congress has blamed the VHP for fanning communal tension in the state.
Bhubaneswar, December 25: Curfew was imposed in some areas of Orissa's tribal-populated Kandhamal (Phulbani) district Tuesday night after over a dozen people were injured in clashes between Hindus and Christians in the wake of a shutdown called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to protest an attack on a Hindu leader. Unconfirmed reports said one person had died.The curfew was imposed in the troubled regions of three police station areas in Baliguda, Daringbadi and Phulbani town of the district, over 200 km from the state capital, late Tuesday evening.The situation is very tense and top officials, including the district collector and the district police chief Narasimha Bhol, are camping in the area.According to reports reaching the state capital, protesters attacked the house of the brother of state Steel and Mines Minister Pabmanabh Behra at Firingia in the district and torched a vehicle belonging to the minister.Three churches were ransacked and burnt in the district, local sources told IANS on phone.Two police vans and two private vehicles were burnt in Tikabali village while hundreds of people blockaded roads at Adabadi to prevent vehicles carrying the Orissa state armed police from reaching the troubled spots.
ONE KILLED
There are reports that one person was killed in the communal clashes in Barakhama, but police have not confirmed it.Sporadic clashes were reported from villages under three police stations in Daringbadi, Brahmanigaon and Tikabali police station areas. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has appealed to the people to maintain peace.Over a dozen people were injured in the clashes, Bhol told IANS.The four-hour VHP bandh was to protest an attack Monday by a group of people on the vehicle of local Hindu leader Swami Laxamananda Saraswati near Daringbadi when he was on his way to perform a yagna there.Saraswati and a person accompanying him were injured and their vehicle partially damaged, Bhol said.

THE KUI TRIBE
Besides the VHP bandh call, the local Kui tribal community had also given a shutdown call demanding immediate solution to their problems.The clashes took place mostly when bandh supporters attacked shops in various places.People of both communities have lodged police complaints against each other.Four people, all Hindus, have been held for inciting communal tension in the region. Besides, at least nine people have been arrested for attacking Saraswati, a police official said.According to reports, shops were closed and vehicular movement affected in places where the clashes had taken place as the VHP shutdown came into effect.Phulbani is considered one of the most communally sensitive districts in the state with numerous clashes reported between Hindus and Christians in the past.The VHP, which has called a press conference in Bhubaneshwar Wednesday, has claimed that its bandh was a grand success.The Congress has blamed the VHP for fanning communal tension in the state.
Bhubaneshwar, December 26: Hundreds of police were deployed in Orissa Wednesday as Hindu hardliners burnt and damaged 12 churches in communal clashes, killing at least one person, police said.The reported injury of a local Hindu leader by a Christian group Monday sparked two days of violence over Christmas in the Kandhamal district of southern Orissa by hardliners who accuse Christian groups of converting low-caste Hindus."The situation is tense but under control," said B.B. Mishra, a state inspector-general of police.The hardliners, some linked to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), have often accused Christian priests of bribing poor tribespeople and low-caste Hindus to change their faith.Many of the churches targeted were makeshift places of worship, often built with thatched roofs and mud walls, local media reported.Orissa, now governed by a BJP ally, has witnessed some of the worst attacks on Christians in the past, including the murders of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two children who were burned to death inside their vehicle by a mob in 1999.Christian groups say lower-caste Hindus who convert do so willingly to escape the highly stratified and oppressive Hindu caste system.But several states ruled by the BJP have passed anti-conversion laws. Christians make up around 2 per cent of mainly Hindu India's 1.1 billion people.

8 Fertilize my soul:

KOSTAS said...

He is terrible what becomes, thus as descriptors.
I want to believe, that the birth of Son of God will fill with kindness, love and forgiveness the hearts of persons in all the world, in any religion they believe.

Shelley said...

Hello, my name is Shelley ! I find your blog very interesting. So sad to hear of all the conflict there. Christmas should be the happiest day of the year. I understand life is much different there and I honor you so much for serving our Lord and putting him first even in a country where he is not so widely accepted. I pray for all my Christian brothers and sisters in your country and also for those who do not beleive, that they to may come to know Christ ! God bless and hope you and yours a Happy New Year.

Blessings,Shelley

Donetta said...

We do not understand the freedoms we as Americans have. It is so good to speak out Sis. Keep up the good work. Our media does not tell of these things at all. We are kept ignorant and blissfully un aware!

Rebecca said...

I remember (years ago when I used to live in Canada before) a minister came from Orissa. He was a Canadian (I think) but he had an Indian wife. I will never forget how he prayed for Orissa...He called out the name and it echoed right through you. I have never forgotten that. Neither, I am sure, has God.

nvittal said...
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nvittal said...

This is very disturbing. Yesterday, there was an attack on a Christian place at Mangalore - my hometown.

Since 90s, the radical elements (and thugs) in Hinduism have found themselves more popular! It really bothers me a lot.

On the other hand, being from Mangalore - a city where minorities (Muslims and Christians) make up a good percentage of total population - I should admit that there are enough provocations from other sides in the form of illegal cow slughtering/beef serving and conversion attempts.

I sincerly hope that all sides grow up and respect each other and their religious sentiments. When it happens, there would be no place for thugs.

Shari said...

Even in the biblical times, Christians are always being perscuted for their beliefs. Allies with Isreal always come up with conflicts. The US is allies with Isreal so we get terrorist attacks on the World Trade Tower and stuff. It's sooo sad.

Here in America, some people don't believe in God. They don't want to hear about it at all. They think it's their right not to hear it-take the "Under God" out of our pledge of alligence, take out certain mentions of God out of everything. We as Christians have rights, too. Ok, I am off my soapbox.

I am sorry to hear that there is conflict in your country.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Amrita.

Web-OJ said...

I echo Shari's sentiments.