POPE CONDEMNS communal VIOLENCE
ROME (News)- A day after the Vatican condemned the violence against Christians in Orissa, Italy on Thursday said it has decided to summon the Indian ambassador here to stress the need for decisive action to prevent and crack down on religious violence in India.
Nuns walk through the entrance to the
Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi on Thursday during a protest prayer meeting
on violence against Christians in Orissa.
The message to be delivered to Indias envoy is the strong expectation of the government for decisive, preventative and repressive action on the part of Indian authorities against acts of unacceptable violence, said a statement issued following a cabinet meeting.
On Wednesday, Pope Benedict XVI firmly condemned the violence in Orissa and called upon religious and civil authorities to work together to restore peaceful co-existence and harmony between the different religious communities.
While firmly condemning the attacks on human lives, whose sacred character must be respected by all, I extend my spiritual comfort and solidarity to the monks and nuns who have been put through such a difficult test, he had said.
On the other hand, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh on Thursday assured a Christian delegation that every effort would be made to restore normalcy in Orissa which has been rocked by the communal violence in the wake of the killing of VHP leader.
The assurance was given to the delegation which quoted the Prime Minister as having described the incidents in Orissa as a national shame.
The delegation met Dr Singh seeking his intervention to maintain peace and ensure safety of Christians in the state.
The Prime Minister termed the incidents as a national shame. He said whatever has happened should not have happened, the CBCI spokesperson, Mr Babu Joseph quoted Dr Singh as telling the delegation.
A PMO spokesman said the Prime Minister told the Catholic Bishops Conference of India that the Centre was in touch with the state government and every effort would be made to restore normalcy in the state.
Dr Singh also spoke to the Chief Minister, Mr Naveen Patnaik and requested him to take immediate steps in this direction and also provide immediate relief to violence-affected people, particularly children.
The delegation sought the Prime Ministers intervention and demanded a CBI inquiry into the violent incidents.
The Prime Minister also assured the delegation that adequate compensation will be given to the victims of the violence from his relief fund, Joseph, who was part of the eight-member delegation, said.
Dr Singh said every citizen has the right to live in the country peacefully.
The CBCI spokesman said they demanded adequate relief and rehabilitation for the affected people.