Monday, September 1, 2008

Fresh Violence: Atleast 4 More Churches Burnt

At Least Four More Churches Burnt as Violence Continues to Spread in Orissa

Christians gather inside a shelter at Raikia village in Orissa August 31, 2008.

Even as officials claim the 'situation to be under control', Anti-Christian Violence in Orissa continues unabated. Four Churches at least, and more Christian houses burnt as Violence Continues unabated in Orissa, despite Government assurances.

Situation Under Whose Control?

Reuters reports:
Hindu mobs have burnt at least four more churches in Orissa, officials said on Monday, as religious violence appeared to spread.

Thousands of people, mostly Christians, have taken shelter in makeshift camps, where Hindu mobs went on the rampage last week after a Hindu leader was killed.

Last week officials said the violence appeared to be abating after Hindu and Christian leaders called for calm, but over the weekend it spread to new parts of the state.

Mobs set fire to four churches in the districts of Koraput and Rayagada, Orissa's Director General of Police, Gopal Chandra Nanda, told Reuters.

Two churches and several houses were also burnt in the Kandhamal district, the epicentre of the tension, despite a curfew imposed in most of its towns, one of the state's leading newspapers, The Samaja, reported on Monday.
According to the Times of India:
Media reports said six churches and some houses had been burnt in Boriguma area of Koraput district and in some places in Rayagada district on Sunday.

Director General of Police Gopal Chandra Nanda, however, said "only three or four churches had been set on fire".

Fresh violence was also reported from the troubled district of Kandhamal where mobs set fire to some churches and houses on Sunday evening. The incidents occurred in Bataguda and Parampanga area.
Contrast this with the official claim:
Bhubaneswar, Sept 1 (PTI) Claiming that the situation in Kandhamal and elsewhere in Orissa was well under control, the state government today said at least 558 houses and 17 places of worship were burnt in communal riots after VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati's killing on August 23.

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