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Orissa death toll rises to 52; archbishop: situation ‘out of control’

Catholic World News - October 06, 2008

Following the killing of two Baptists in Orissa Thursday evening, a tense calm descended on the east Indian state. Archbishop Raphael Cheenath of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, who has met repeatedly with government leaders, said that the situation remains ‘out of control.’ Meanwhile AsiaNews reports compelling evidence that the Orissa state government suppressed evidence that Maoists killed the Hindu leader whose death sparked the anti-Christian violence.

The Indian cabinet held a special meeting on Friday, with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh telling cabinet members, ‘There were a lot of complaints [in Europe and the US] about Christians being targeted in parts of the country, including Karnataka and Orissa. I had no answers, and had to hang my head in shame.’ Interreligious protests calling for the defense of Christians took place in several cities, and a group of Christians issued an appeal to the late Mahatma Gandhi to move the government to action.

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