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NCM indicts Orissa government for communal violence
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September 25, 2008 16:50 IST
As violence against tribal Christians continues in Orissa, the National Commission for Minorities has indicted the Biju Janata Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition in the state for its inability to handle the situation.

Dubbing the police role as "ineffective", NCM chairman Mohamed Shafi Qureshi told PTI, "the state government did not play an active role and the situation was allowed to go out of control".

The commission appears to have added another dimension to the debate against conversions by asking for invoking provisions of Orissa Freedom of Religion Act against "those using force to convert Christians into Hindus."

As in Karnataka, the NCM has held Bajrang Dal responsible for the attacks on churches in Orissa too.

"We have asked for action against Bajrang Dal as it has been found to be involved in the attacks," Qureshi said.

The one-man team of NCM, led by its vice-chairman Michael Pinto, which left for Orissa to report on violence against minorities in the wake of the killing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Laxmananda Saraswati on August 28, has submitted its report before the commission.

The NCM team went to Orissa as the commission was not satisfied with the report submitted to it by the Chief Secretary regarding the clashes. It focused on the origin of the trouble and how it spread so fast besides measures taken to control the situation.

The commission noted that "vested interests" took advantage of the situation to further their sectarian agenda.

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