Radical Hindu groups are demanding the release of some of their members jailed for their role in recent violence. And in order to get what they want they have attacked some police stations and blocked roads with trees to hamper police operations.
Under the circumstances Christians are truly scared that their isolation could facilitate further attacks.
Hindu fundamentalists claim that they are acting to stop conversions to Christianity by fraudulent means, including bribery.
Out in the villages they have threatened Christian converts with death and the destruction of their homes if they do not re-convert to Hinduism.
A source in Kandhamal district told AsiaNews that in one village all but six Christian families “surrendered,” i.e. reconverted, and were forced, as a token of their surrender, to torch the chapels and homes of other Christians.
Abraham Mathai, deputy chairman of the Maharashtra Minorities Commission, has called for the state of Orissa to be placed under direct presidential rule.
“The violence in Kandhamal has continued for 45 days now, unabated and unhindered by the state machinery,” he said in a statement released today. “Should we proclaim this State complicit with or a sponsor of mob terror?”
In his view “with an increase [in] anarchy and an impotent and dysfunctional State Government, the only way to contain this situation is to invoke Article 356 and dismiss the Orissa Government and hand over the administration to the army . . . . The inaction of the Orissa State Government to contain the violence thus far has only emboldened these communal forces to carry out similar attacks in other states viz. Karnataka, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, etc.”