Minorities, Dalits agitate against Orissa violence

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Chennai, Jan 2 (UNI) The All India Christian Council (AICC), Muslim and Dalit organisations today staged a demonstration against the violent attacks on Christians and Churches in rural Orissa.

Led by AICC, members of the Jamathi Islami India, Tamil Nadu Muslim Party, Republican Party of India, Marumalarchi Muslim League and Dalit parties took part in the agitation urging the Centre and Orissa governments to take immediate action against the culprits.

AICC State President Rev K B Edison said more than 65 churches were burnt down, 600 homes of Christians destroyed and hundreds of them rendered homeless and were forced to flee to forests.

He demanded that the governments pay a compensation of Rs five lakh to the families of those killed in the violence and the Orissa government rebuild all the churches and houses of Christians.

He also demanded a ban on the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and other Sangh Parivar outfits, which had unleashed violence against the Christian community in Orissa.

Evangelical Church of India (ECI) President Rev Ezra Sargunam wanted Chief Minister M Karunanidhi to take up the issue with the Centre and ensure protection to Christians in Orissa.

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