Bhubaneshwar, Oct 7 : Superior-General of the Missionaries of Charity Sister Nirmala on Tuesday exhorted the Orissa government to continue with strong steps to restore peace in areas affected by violence against Christians.
Sister Nirmala called on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneshwar today to apprise him of sentiment of the Missionaries of Charity about recent violence against the Christian community in Kandhamal District.
She said that strong measures taken by the State Government should continue to enable people to return to their homes.
"To continue taking steps, strong measures to control violence, so that peace may return and people may go back to their places. Right and strong steps have been taken now, and I would like to continue this," advised Sister Nirmala.
The Chief Minister told reporters after his meeting with Sister Nirmala today that his government is making efforts to restore law and order in the violence hit areas of the state.
"I had a discussion with Sister Nirmala and explained to her all the efforts we have been making to bring peace and normalcy back to Kandhamal district. And I spoke in detail of the steps of the government is taking to see the law and order situation is maintained and that peace and calm is restored in the district," said Patnaik.
The murder of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Laxmanananda Saraswati in August sparked weeks of violence against Christians in Orissa's Kandhamal district. Police has, however, blamed Maoist rebels for the killing of Saraswati.
Police have arrested about 1,000 people, mostly Hindus, in connection with the attacks on Christians in Orissa. Hindu groups deny their involvement in the violence, which has been condemned by Pope Benedict. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh has called it a "national shame". The violence against Christians in Orissa was followed by similar attacks in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and of late in Tamil Nadu as well.