Gujarat activists demand president’s rule in Orissa


Ahmedabad : Condemning the killing of VHP leader Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati and communal clashes it triggered in Orissa, activists and human rights organisations in Gujarat have demanded president’s rule in the state.

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“Several concerned Citizens and human rights organizations of Gujarat held a meeting in Ahmedabad Wednesday to condemn the violent attacks on the Christian community of Orissa, following the brutal killing of the VHP leader,” they said in a joint statement Thursday.

“The meeting strongly condemned the continuous attacks on Christian organizations and institutions by the VHP, Bajrang Dal and others and was of the view that the Orissa government has totally failed in protecting the lives and properties of the Christian Community.”

The meeting passed a number of resolutions seeking army control in Orissa, president’s rule in the state and bringing back those who have fled into the forests out of fear.

The activists also demanded that the organizations which had called for the Orissa shutdown Monday and those directly involved in violent attacks on Christians, should be declared as terrorist organizations.

They also demanded that the killing of the Swami and his four associates in Kandhamal district Saturday should be impartially investigated, and that the killers be punished.

The activists participating in the meeting included S.H. Iyer, Rohit Patel, Saroop Dhruv, Gautam Thaker, Hiren Gandhi, Dwarikanath Rath, Fr. Cedric Prakash, Nafisa Barot and Hanif Lakdawala, among others.