Bhatt, Mumbai minority community submit petition to UN

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Mumbai, Oct 2 (UNI) Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and the city-based Christian body, Catholic Secular Forum (CSF), have submitted a petition to the United Nations (UN) office, seeking refugee status for the minority in Orissa.

The petition, submitted yesterday, also called for setting up of refugee camps under UN supervision in the forests in Orissa, which is marred by violence.

Indian Christian Voice president and Maharashtra Minorities Commission vice-chairman Dr Abraham Mathai, in a release here today, said this was the first time that the persecuted minority community were making such an appeal.

CSF general secretary Joesph Dias told UNI there were calls from within the minority community to apply for arms license to be used in self-defence, as such attacks will not stop.

''Communalism is a threat to India and could affect the country as well as the world like terrorism. Our silence makes us culpable, with implicit involvement in the murder and spilling of innocent blood,''he was quoted as saying in the release.

UNI ZC AB/SSS SV GC1922

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