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Orissa authorities admit more anti-Christian attacks possible

ICC Note: One quarter of Orissa still tense while the state faces the loss of this harvest because of anti-Christian violence.

by Nirmala Carvalho
11/20/08 Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews) – Three months after anti-Christian violence broke out in Kandhamal, Orissa’s Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik admitted that at least three of the district’s 12 predominantly Tribal blocks “are not yet calm”. Previously for weeks he had repeated that “everything was under control”. His change of heart coincided with the arrival of three Union ministers in the state.

“Raikia, G Udaygiri and Tikabali blocks are not yet calm as it should be,” the chief minister said a few hours after Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar described the situation in Kandhamal as “tense” though efforts were on to restore normalcy.

Patnaik did never the less say that peace and harmony had to be restored to make it easier for refugees to come home.

Government officials are in fact complaining that economic activities could come to a complete halt in the district as land lay uncultivated following owners’ flight, general insecurity and persistent fear of new attacks.

Farming stopped in late August as farmers took to the forests. Harvest has not yet started and if there is no change to the situation, most of the produce is bound to be lost… [Go To Full Story]