09/29/2009, 00.00
INDIA
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Orissa: Hindu extremism behind the bomb at the Christian refugee camp

by Nirmala Carvalho
The man who was preparing the bomb is dead. Four injured all belonging to the 32 Christian families living in the Nandamaha camp. Police blame Maoist militants. For the director of the Global Council of Indian Christians is the latest Hindu violence against Christians.

Bhubaneshwar (AsiaNews) - The bomb exploded near the Nandamaha refugee camp is yet another extremist attack against Betticola Christians. Sajan K George, director of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), has no doubts about the responsibility and reason for the explosion on 27 September that killed a man and wounded four people, those wounded belonging to the 32 Christian families living in the camp.

From initial investigations it appears that the victim of the bomb is the very attacker, who was preparing the bomb when it exploded. He had arrived in the camp five days beforehand and did not come from the village of Betticola like the other guests of the centre. Police in Udayagiri, responsible for the zone, found four guns and a rudimentary grenade near the camp.

Immediately after the attack, police detained four Christians who had made a complaint. On 28 September they also detained three suspects accused of involvement in the explosion. Praveen Kumar, Commissioner of Police of Kandhamal responsible for investigations, said that the attack could be the work of Maoist militants. Sajan K George rejects this hypothesis and instead points to leaders of the Hindu extremists.

The Director of the GCIC said the explosion on 27 September is the latest signal against Christians in the village of Betticola, a community that has found no peace since they had to leave their parish after the pogroms of August 2008 (see AsiaNews, 11 / 09/2009, "Betticola Christians still refugees more than one year after the Orissa pogrom”).  

"The 32 families of Betticola - said Sajan K George - have been deprived of everything and are now reorganized around 20 km from the village of Nandagiri at Dugudi where they live in tents." The Director of the GCIC said: "They had lived in their village since 1995, but now there is no longer even one Christian home left and the extremists will not allow the rebuilding of the parish that was razed. The bomb is a clear signal to them: you can not return to Betticola”.

 

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