Sunday, September 21, 2008

Andhra Pradesh: Over 15000 protested impunity for Hindutva extremists in Massive rally

Andhra Pradesh: Over 15000 protested impunity for Hindutva extremists in Massive rally
Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi 21/9/2008 12:15:02 AM(IST)

The All India Christian Council (AICC) organized a Mega public meeting at Gymkhana Grounds at 10 am today followed by a Massive Rally in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh. This rally was held in protest to the atrocities and havoc created by the members of the Sangh Parivar organizations since August 23, 2008, in Orissa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, and other states. Over one hundred churches were burnt and over 60,000 thousand Christians displaced in this communal violence in six states across India.

Over 15,000 people attended this Mega Rally in large numbers representing all the 24 districts of Andhra Pradesh. Leaders of all major political parties participated in the rally. Also Sikhs, Buddhists, progressive Hindus, and Muslims participated and extended their solidarity and support for the Christians who were victimized across India.

Dr. Sam Paul, aicc National Secretary of Public Affairs, said, “The Central Government is not acting on the violence against Christians as it supposed to act. We demand that the government should impose a ban on Sangh sponsored groups like VHP, Bajrangdal, and RSS. Provocative statements by certain fundamentalist Hindutva leaders have saddened the vast majority of Hindus as well as minority communities. These extremist groups have committed unprovoked attacks against Christians and falsely accused them of “conversions”. Responsible leaders should unconditionally condemn the murder of any Indian citizen – including Christians.”

The aicc leaders remarked once again that the majority of attacks in Karnataka occurred on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008, in coastal areas. In Orissa, the aicc estimates 50,000 Christians are displaced with 14,000 in government relief camps, 35 people killed including two pastors, and over 4,000 Christian homes destroyed by arson. The violence, which at one point spread across 12 of 30 districts in the state, now seems to be contained to Kandhamal District.

National Congress Party Mr. B. Manikya Varaprasad, Member of Legislative Assembly, said that the Central Government had taken the issue very seriously and had discussed it at length in the Congress Working Committee. Mrs. Shankuntala, Prajaraajyam Party representative, Mr. Jelli Wilson, M.L.C. of Communist Party of India, members of the Telugu Desam Party, and other political parties participated in the Mega Rally and condemned attacks against Christians. All the political party leaders unanimously condemned the violence and declared that the state governments of Orissa and Karnataka are responsible for the recent attacks on Christians. They expressed that the central government should ban the Hindutva organisations like VHP, Bajrangdal, and RSS. And also they demanded that Presidential Rule be imposed on both Orissa and Karnataka states. The leaders, in the midst of differences, extended their full support to protect the democracy of India.

The All India Christian Council (, birthed in 1998, exists to protect and serve the Christian community, minorities, and the oppressed castes. The AICC is a coalition of thousands of Indian denominations, organizations, and lay leaders.

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