Hindus feeling insecure in Kandhmal: BJP

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 16: The Orissa unit of BJP today alleged that Hindus in the tribal dominated Kandhmal district, rocked by the recent communal violence, were feeling insecure as they were reduced to minority in some pockets.

''Several Hindus in the Daringibadi block had even approached the National Minority Commission(NMC) to accord them minority status,'' former Union Minister and BJP Parliamentarian Juel Oram, who led a BJP delegation to the strife-torn Kandhmal, said. Talking to newspersons here Mr Oram said innocent Kandh tribals in Kandhmal had become the victim of an organised conspiracy hatched by the Christian Missionaries and some NGOs funded by foreign agencies.

He alleged that the recent communal clash in Kandhmal was blown out of proportion by a vested group, stating that large number of Christian houses were set ablaze and churches damaged. But on the contrary nearly 80 per cent of the victims belonged to the Hindu community.

Mr Oram said it was more shocking that Hindus had submitted a memorandum to the BJP delegation demanding minority status. The Hindus, he alleged, were subjected to harassment and torture by the Missionaries and the NGOs in Kandhmal.

The BJP MP said his party would draw the attention of the National Human Rights Commission(NHRC) on the 'torture' of the Hindus in Kandhmal.

Mr Oram demanded strict implementation of the Freedom of Religion Act, saying He said those violating it be taken to task by the government. He said the situation in Kandhmal turned worse after some Christians, backed by some NGO activists, attacked the tribals and looted the shops on December 23 and 24.

''Again on December 27 some 4000 - odd armed Christians set fire to hundreds of Hindu houses in Brahmanigaon and Gadarpur in presence of police, escalating tension in the area,'' Mr Oram said.

The BJP MP said in 1995 the then Phulbani Collector Hrushikesh Panda had warned the government of a serious situation if the tribal land encroached by the Panas was not be restored to them.

Reacting to the allegation of the Congress and Left parties that the BJP and VHP were responsible for the communal clash in Kandhmal, Mr Oram challenged them to clarify their stand on the illegal land grabbing and capture of adivasi land by the Christians.

Mr Oram also demanded that false caste certificate issued in Kandhmal be probed and those involved in the scam be arrested and punished.

On the state government claim that no illegal conversion was going on in Kandhmal,the BJP MP said let the government come out with all records in Kandhmal to justify that there had been no violation of the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act.


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