Home India News Christian group objects to US lawmakers’ letter on Kandhamal

Christian group objects to US lawmakers’ letter on Kandhamal


Bhubaneswar : A Christian group has objected to a letter written by 21 lawmakers from the US to Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik urging him to “protect Christians” in the aftermath of the Kandhamal violence.

“We don’t agree with the letter written by the 21 lawmakers from the US, led by Trent Franks, to the Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik. There is no point in writing a letter to the state chief minister when the rehabilitation is over,” said Swarupananda Patra, president of the Orissa Minority Forum.

“It is time to rebuild the lives of those who have lost their homes. And as a Christian I am sure the chief minister is doing fine in ensuring peace in Kandhamal,” he said.

He also did not agree on attaching a religions tag to the violence that followed the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram Aug 23, 2008.

“We don’t believe in attaching a religious tag to the violence. They were a group of criminals who orchestrated the violence rather than Hindus as it is mentioned in the letter,” he said.

He added: “It is not time to indulge in blame games. Rather it is time to help the victims of violence. The blame game will only strengthen the hands of criminals.”

The US lawmakers Friday wrote the letter to the Orissa chief minister that “attacks on the fundamental freedom of religion threaten not only India’s reputation for religious diversity, but also the very stability of India’s secular democracy.”