Hindu Militants Threaten New Attacks In Orissa

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

By John Lindner, BosNewsLife Senior Mission Correspondent

NEW DELHI, INDIA (BosNewsLife) -- Hindu militants have threatened to wage fresh attacks against Christians in India’s troubled state of Orissa on Tuesday, February 26, Christian leaders said.

Advocacy group All India Christian Council (AICC) said its Orissa office learned from four local Dalit Christian leaders about the imminent attacks in villages of Kandhamal District, where up to nine people died and many more were injured recent Christmas violence sparked by Hindu groups.

It comes at a time when Hindu leader Lambodar Kuanr, aspires to get political backing from the influential Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in upcoming elections, Christians said. Militants under his control reportedly threatened to attack Balliguda, one of the villages attacked in late December, to obtain unconditional release of all Hindu militants detained following the recent violence.

“If the jailers reject their request, they plan to break their colleagues free by force,” AICC
investigators said. Militants also plan to attack the tribal and Dalit Christians, demanding that that they will become Hindus, leave the village, or be killed, the AICC said.


Dalit and tribal Christians reportedly preparing to flee back to the jungle, where thousands of other believers, including priests and nuns, were hiding in previous weeks in the wake of the December violence.

Tensions have increased following the recent visit of Orissa’s governor who visited allegedly persecuted Christians, upsetting Hindu militants. Eyewitnesses said that soon after the February 8 visit, “Hindu radicals blocked all the roads in Barkhama” area and did not “allow police and government officials to leave” for four hours.

An eye-witness, apparently speaking on condition of anonymity, said there was "total confusion of law and order." Besides Hindus at least three Dalit Christians from Baminigaon area in Orissa were detained by local authorities, apparently under pressure by local Hindus.


News of the tensions in Orissa, came shortly after elsewhere in India some 125 Hindu militants reportedly attacked one of the oldest and best-known churches in Madhya Pradesh state, Masihi Mandir Church, Sunday, February 24, beating one of the fleeing members.

The assault followed an attack in Kosmi area of the state Friday, February 22, when a Hindu militants dragged at least four people from a home where Christians were meeting and beat them with bamboo poles, rods and belts, news reports said.

Hindu groups have stepped up their attacks, angered over the spread of Christianity in India, where most people are Hindus, rights groups say. (Read more from John Lindner via www.worldchristianministries.org ).

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