Monday, 25 August 2008

Now Orissa battleground between Sangh and Evangelists: Five killed, Churches attacked

Five persons have been killed and mob comprising RSS and Bajrang Dal cadre has attacked Christian prayer halls and Churches in Kandhamal district of Orissa. Three persons were killed in Raikia on Monday night, as they were found dead in their homes that were set afire.

The violence in which a Christian woman was earlier burnt alive along with another person, came in response to the attack by suspected ultra-leftists (Naxals) who fired at five Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leaders including Swami Laxmanand Sarwaswati who were killed in the attack.

Saraswati has been involved in bringing back converted Christians to Hinduism. Though Naxalites (Maoist extremists) are not known to be Christian sympathisers, the attack on right-wing Hindu leaders, came as a surprise. However, the attack led to a call for 'bandh' and radical Hindu organisations perpetrated a reign of terror in Orissa.

Not just churches but orphanages and hostels of Christians were attacked and burnt down. The attack is reminiscent of last year's clashes between Christian and Hindu mobs across the state. Situation remains tense in most of the towns of Kandhamal district.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

SIMI no longer a banned outfit

The Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) is no longer a banned organisation. The organisation that has been blamed for involvement in terror strikes in the country, can now act freely, at least for the time being.

The single-judge special tribunal of Delhi High court has termed insufficient the evidences furnished by the Home Ministry against the organisation. The tribunal held that the evidences were not sufficient and didn't justify the ban, which has been in existence for the last seven years.

SIMI, a radical group of Muslim youths formed in Aligarh in 1977, was banned under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The lawyer for SIMI, Mobin Faruqi, welcomed the verdict and said that every time there was a terrorist activity the organisation was unfairly accused.

The lifting of the ban may be challenged by the Central government that can approach the Supreme Court, say legal experts. The Centre has maintained that SIMI is involved in invoking communal frenzy and its elements have waged a war against the country.

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