Guarantee protection to Christian community: CPM to Centre

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New Delhi, Aug 30 (UNI) The CPM today asked the UPA government to evolve a firm opinion about the ''ongoing terrorist activities'' of the Bajrang Dal and do the needful and stop the unabated violence against the Christian community in Orissa and provide relief and rehabilitation to the victims without further delay.

The Left party also asked Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to snap ties with his party's coalition partner, the BJP, which according to it, in connivance with the state machinery, has let loose a reign of terror against the ''most vulnerable community''.

These demands were raised by CPM Polit Bureau member and Rajya Sabha MP Brinda Karat, who led a five-member delegation to Orissa yesterday to make a on-the-spot study of the ''barbaric killings'' of the members of the minority community, forcing hundreds to flee the affected areas falling in six to eight districts.

At a press conference here, the CPM leader alleged that the state government has so far not made proper consultation and coordination to take the appropriate measures to contain the violence against the community, which, despite the shoot-at-sight orders, curfew in several districts and the presence of the police, continues unabated.

''Since many of the areas are under Schedule 5 of the Constitution, the Centre has an added responsibility. The Centre should not watch the situation like observers and rather take immediate steps to check the continuing atrocities against the Christian homes, churches and religious functionaries,'' Ms Karat said.

The CPM leader said that the delegation, was not allowed to visit the affected areas. ''However, in Bhubaneswar, we met a large number of families, who told us the most horrifying incidents of barbarism committed by the activists of the VHP, RSS and Bajrang Dal.'' She said the delegation told the Chief Minister that the ''connivance of the government'' was exemplified by the permission given to VHP leader Praveen Togadia to take out a funeral procession of Swami Lashmananda for 200 km from the place where he was killed to his main ashram, which was deliberately done to inflame communal hatred against the Christian community.

Pointing out towards the findings of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad, the Left leader said the investigating agency has found evidence against the Bajrang dal activists, who are involved in making bombs and indulging in terrorist activities in various parts of the country, but no FIRs have been lodged against the culprits.

In reply to a specific query about the deployment of the paramilitary forces, Ms Karat said Mr Patnaik told the delegation that the state government has asked for the outside forces. ''Some forces have arrived, but they are not moving,'' she added.

She disclosed that a joint delegation of the Communist parties would visit the affected areas after two days to further extend their support to the victims and probe the matter.


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