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Anti-Christian violence like “man-made tsunami,” says Cardinal Toppo

ICC Note:

The chairman of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in India visits an area affected by the recent major outbreak of violence against Christians reportedly being led by the fundamentalist group, Vishva Hindu Parishad.

1/10/2008 India (AsiaNews) Card Telesphore Toppo, who was a guest of Archbishop Raphael Cheenath from 2 to 4 January, was prevented from visiting victims in their homes by local authorities. He was never the less able to talk to some of them at the Bishop’s residence and was able to visit some of the affected areas where “people are still under shock, living in great fear and anxiety.”

The cardinal later met Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and brought him up-to-date as to the situation in the state. In a letter he gave the prime minister, the prelate called the series of “unwarranted attacks” against Christians in Kandhamal district “truly tragic,” acts that were undoubtedly premeditated and carried out by sectarian forces.

Following charges by local human rights groups that the authorities’ response was inadequate and apathetic, the National Commission on Minorities sent a delegation to Kandhamal district.

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