Left delegation to visit violence-hit Orissa


Kolkata : A Left Front (LF) delegation will visit the violence-hit areas of Orissa where Christian communities were attacked allegedly by Hindu fanatics, West Bengal LF chairman Biman Bose said here Tuesday.

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“We’ve decided in the LF meeting that a Left delegation, led by central-level leaders, will visit the trouble-torn areas in Orissa. I have already talked to our Left coordination leaders regarding the visit,” Bose told reporters here.

Condemning the attack on Christian minority, he said earlier a team of Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders, led by party politburo member Brinda Karat, took an initiative to visit the place but they were stopped on the way.

“When we approached the union home ministry and informed them about the incident, we were told that the ministry was busy tackling the law and order issue there,” Bose said.

The state has witnessed communal violence since Aug 23 when Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, a member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s central advisory committee, and four others were killed by suspected Maoist guerrillas at his Jalespata ashram in Kandhamal.

Kandhamal district, with a population of around 600,000, of whom 150,000 are Christians, has witnessed many clashes between Hindus and Christians in the past.

Orissa is not new to communal violence between Hindus and Christians.

On Jan 22, 1999, Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons, 10-year-old Philip and six-year-old Timothy, were burnt alive by a Hindu radical mob in their vehicle in Keonjhar district.