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Sent: Monday, August 25, 2008 8:14 PM
Subject: Shocking News from Orissa


n a high level meeting of Orissa Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), VHP (Viswa Hindu Parishad), Bajrang Dal and RSS (Rastriya Swayam Sevak Sangh) held in Rourkela on 24th August, they have made a firm resolution to continue the work of demolishing all the Christian Institutions and Churches in the State, especially in the district of Sundargarh. They have planned to start the attacks in the western Orissa from Wednesday (27th August). This is the message given to us by Mr. Patric Minz – a police who went in civil dress to the meeting.

Our Confrere, Fr. Edward Secqueira, SVD in Padampur (Bargarh District) was very badly beaten up and his condition is very serious. He is in Padampur Hospital.

(1) Another confrere, Fr. Simon Lakra and another Jesuit priest who was with him in Duburi, were chased, caught and taken by the miscreants. No further news about them.

(2) The Catholic Church of Madhupur and the HM’s Convent in Madhupur were set on fire today (25th). The Father with the hostel boys and the sisters with the Hostel Boys have run away into villages and are hiding in the people’s homes.

(3) The Pastoral Centre, at Konjamendi, a huge building of the Archdiocese of Bhubaneswar is totally demolished by blasting it with bombs,

(4) Jana Vikas Kedra, a social service centre at Konjamendi was also set on fire.

(5) The director of the Pastoral centre, Fr. Thomas Chellan and Sr. Meena Barwa, HM who ran away and hid themselves in a Catholic house, were caught today and beaten up thoroughly; Fr. Thomas Chellan was stripped and paraded and both of them are handed over to the Police.

(6) Few Village Churches in Rourkela diocese have been torched.

Please advise our Bishops and Major Superiors to seek the help of the All India Bishops and in solidarity with the suffering of Khandhamal District, they could call for a close of all the educational institutions in the country. The earlier we do the better we can spend time can get the sympathy and the support of the non-Christians in the State.

Thanking you and requesting your prayers,

Fr. Joseph Amalan, SVD