Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lethargy in Sending Para-Military Forces to Orissa

Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil Concerned Over Central Government's Delay In Sending Para-Military Forces To Orissa

President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) and Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church (Eastern rite), Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil has expressed grave concern over the "unwillingness" of the Union government to send troops to bring the law and order situation under control in Orissa, where Christians were allegedly burnt alive, churches and convents and their other institutions set ablaze, during a weeklong attack on the community last week.

The head of the six-million strong Catholics, Cardinal Varkey condemned the Union government's lethargy and delay in sending para-military forces to Orissa where over a dozen persons were killed in large-scale rioting.

The cardinal was addressing a gathering of priests, nuns and laypersons August 30 at nearby Kakkanad to pay tributes to Father Thomas Pandippally who was murdered recently in Andhra Pradesh.
"The Centre is dithering on sending troops to Orissa. I had taken up the matter with the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. Now it has found refuge in the excuse that troops can be sent only on the request of the state government."

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