Sunday, August 24, 2008

CBCI Condemns Swami's Murder

CBCI condemns the murder of VHP Leader and Appeals for Peace in Orissa


August 24, 2008

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) expresses its deep regret on the attack of ashram near Tumudibandh in Kandhamal District of Orissa last night in which the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Lakshmanananda Saraswati and five others were killed.

Orissa has been witnessing a series of Maoist attacks in the recent past and it is most deplorable that the outlaws targeted a religious leader who was held in high esteem by his followers.

His Eminence Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, the President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI) has denounced the murder of the VHP leader as an act of desperation by the outlaws in the State.

"We condemn the act of violence which claimed the lives of Swami Lakhsmananda Saraswati and some others at his Asharam. We are sad that a respected religious leader has allegedly been a victim of organized violence by the Maoists.

Equally deplorable is the act of vandalism and arson on the Christian institutions in Kandhmal District indulged by some misguided and unruly elements. We appeal to the people of Orissa to maintain calm at this hour of crisis and bring the tense situation to normal at the earliest so that people and institutions are protected and preserved. We also appeal to the State and Central Governments to take adequate measures to contain violence and to restore peace in the disturbed areas of Orissa."

Release to the press for publication

Rev Dr Babu Joseph, SVD
Spokesperson, CBCI

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