NCM to send team to Orissa to probe violence

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New Delhi, Dec 27 (UNI) Taking serious note of the continuing violence involving Christians and tribals in Orissa, and targeting of Churches, the National Commission for Minorities has decided to send a three-member team to the state for a first hand knowledge of the situation.

The Commission had sought a report from the state government and the reply has been received, NCM Member Duleep Padgaokar told UNI.

He, however, did not divulge the contents of the reply.

Mr Padgaonkar will be part of the team that would visit the state.

Clashes between Christians and tribals on the Christmas eve in Kandhaml district of the state had forced the authorities to impose indefinite curfew.

The violence later spread to other Baliguda and Phulban, Daringibadi, Phiringia and Tikabali prompting the administration to extend the curfew to these areas too, as the situation went out of control with rioting mobs ransacking shops and damaging places of worship and police station.

Mr Padgaonkar said the date of the Commission's visit to the state would be decided in few days in consultation with the state administration.

Calling the escalating violence against the Christian community as a well-planned conspiracy, the Church leaders in a memorandum to the Prime Minister have urged him to intervene and prevent the massacre of the community.

UNI

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