London, Oct 4: Violence in Kandhamal has made its impact felt even in London. A rally has been called for in London to protest and put an end to ongoing violence against Christians in Kandhamal on Saturday, Oct 4. Ashok Masih Mattu, chairman of UK-based Indian Christian Concern, one of the groups organising Saturday's rally, said "violence against Christians has increased since the murder of the Australian missionary Graham Staines in Orissa in 1999."
"It's a very, very sad situation, and I've never seen anything like it before. The Indian government has said it's doing everything in its power to stop it, but the killing is still going on," he added.
He said that last week, a mob allegedly burned down the house of the Roman Catholic Missionaries of Charity in the village of Sukananda in the Kandhamal district of Orissa. The house was empty at the time, as the Sisters had already fled.
In response, Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, signed a statement on behalf of the group calling for "stronger and stringent action against all kinds of anti-social and anti-religious elements that violate human rights and terrorise innocent people", according to a religious newspaper, The Church Times.
Saturday's march will be attended by MPs John McDonald (Hayes and Harlington) and Virendra Sharma (Ealing and Southall) and representatives of British Hindu groups.