Orissa violence: Rio writes to Naveen Patnaik

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Kohima, Aug 31: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has urged Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to control the communal violence in the state and take necessary action to protect the lives and properties of minorities.

In a letter addressed to the Orissa Chief Minister last evening, Mr Rio expressed concern at the atrocities being perpetrated against the Christian community and damage to Christian institutions.

Referring to the situation in Kandhmal district, Mr Rio reminded his Orissa counterpart on the imperativeness of a swift and timely action against the religious fundamentalists targetting innocent people.

''Religious intolerance has no place in a secular country like ours. I strongly urge you to take all necessary action to protect the lives and properties of the religious minorities in your state,'' Mr Rio, in his letter, said.

In a separate release, Mr Rio urged all citizens to condemn the ''inhuman and uncivilised attacks that are being perpetrated against Christians and Christian institutions in the country, especially in Orissa.'' ''It is highly disturbing to observe that innocent Christian continue to be targetted regularly by religious fundamentalists,'' he said and added ''While condemning these attacks, I urge the Centre, the Orissa government and all agencies concerned to address this crisis with stern action and take all necessary measures to extend security and safety to the Christian minorities and all Christian institutions,'' the letter added.

UNI

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