Swami Chidanand to undertake reconstruction of Kandhamal village

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New Delhi, Oct 8 (UNI) In a display of Christian-Hindu amity, Swami Chidanand Saraswati of Paramarth Niketan, Rishikesh, today announced to undertake reconstruction of one of the villages in Orissa's Kandhamal district, destroyed in the recent violence.

The reconstruction work will be done in consultation and cooperation of local church and the state government, a signed staement, issued after a delegation of Christian leaders led by the Swami Ji met Leader of the Opposition L K Advani at his residence, said.

The signatories to the statement were Mr Advani, Vincent Concessao, Archbishop of Delhi, Raphael Cheenath, Archbishop of Orissa, Rev Dr Dominic Emmanuel, spokesman of the Delhi Catholic Archdiocese and Swami Saraswati.

At the nearly two-hour meeting which was also attended by senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj, Mr Chandan Mitra, MP, Sadhvi Bhagwati of Paramarth Niketan and Mr Sudheendra Kulkarni, former advisor to former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, both sides agreed that all efforts should be made to restore peace, normalcy and a sense of security in the violence affected areas with the cooperation of the governments concerned and leaders of the different communities.

The meeting emphasised the need to initiate a sustained and sincere inter-faith dialogue between the communities on all aspects of life, including the issue of religious conversions.

The dialogue would be held in the spirit of the unanimous report of the Inter-Faith Dialogue on Conversions, which was organised at the Vatican in May 2006 by the Pontifical Council for Inter-Faith Dialogue and the World Council of Churches, Geneva.

"Justice must be done to the victims of violence expeditiously," the meeting decided with both Mr Advani and Christian leaders condemning the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and his four disciples in Kandhamal district in August and subsequent attacks on places of worship in Orissa and elsewhere in the country.

Mr Advani described the rape of a nun in Orissa as a "shameful crime against humanity".

UNI KAS/MCN KK HS1709

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