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Seven Day Dharna at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

 

CHRISTIANS OF DELHI & NCR
Movement against Communalism and Violence
C/o Archbishop's House, 1 Ashok Place, Gole Dak Khana New Delhi- 110001
Phone: 011-23343457, 23362058 Fax: 23746575 Email: archbishopdelhi@yahoo.co.in

PRESS RELEASE
END OF 7 DAYS DHARANA AT RAJ GHAT
New Delhi 2 October 2008

n a unique culmination to a historic seven days Dharana at Parliament Street's Jantar Mantar, thousands of Christians of Delhi and NCR marched to Raj Ghat and presented a memorandum to Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation, seeking the return of law and order in Orissa, the worst affected of seven states hit by a wave of anti -christian violence at the hands of the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

The memorandum was laid at the Mahatma's Samadhi by two children. It narrates the continuing violence in Orissa which has so far made 50,000 christians internally displaced, burned 4,300 houses and seen ethnic cleansing in over 300 villages of Kandhamal. Women, including a nun, have been raped and burnt. The toll is now 57 and mounting. Christians have also faced violence in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala, Chhattisgarh and some other parts of India.

Thousands of Christians from Delhi and NCR, joined by people of other religions and human rights activists from civil society ended their 7Days Sit-In Dharana with a peaceful march from Jantar Mantar till Raj Ghat.

Earlier in the day, Shree Lalu Prasad Yadav, Smt. Shiela Dikshit, Shree Sitaram Yetchury, Shree Oscar Fernandez and many other political leaders addressed the gathering of a large number of people at Jantar Mantar. Shree Lalu Prasad Yadav, the honourable minister for Railways, lambasted the Sangh Parivar for indulging in divisive politics and spreading hate just to get to power at the Center. Appreciating the selfless services rendered by Mother Teresa and many other missionaries in the field of education, health and social development, he said that we must rather follow their example in our lives and be grateful to them. He said that "We will not let the enemies of the country break the unity and harmony of India." and appealed to everyone to join hands in fighting the menace of communalism.

The march was led by Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao, Bishop Simon John, and Rev. Richard Howell along with many other Christian leaders and people of civil society and was organized by NUCF; FACAAD; AICU; AICC; UCA; CNI; Believers Church and others.

Issued by: Fr. Dominic Emmanuel SVD


From: Communication Information
Sent: Monday, September 29, 2008 9:21 AM
Subject: Press Release

CHRISTIANS OF DELHI & NCR
Movement against Communalism and Violence
C/o Archbishop's House, 1 Ashok Place, Gole Dak Khana New Delhi- 110001
Phone: 011-23343457, 23362058 Fax: 23746575 Email: archbishopdelhi@yahoo.co.in

Chairman, Organizing Presidium: Archbishop Vincent M Concessao

Contact: Dr. Richard Howell 9810348604, Dr. John Dayal 9811021072, Fr. Dominic Emmanuel 9810018071,
Rev. Madhu Chandra 9868184939, Adv. Jenis Francis 9811064616, Mr. A.C. Michael 9818155290, Fr. George Abraham 9868884300, Fr. John Paul svd 9868219663

On-going Sit-in Dharna at Jantar Mantar

New Delhi 29 September 2008

The 7 Days Sit-In- Dharna at Jantar Mantar organized by the Christians of Delhi and NCR is being well attended not only by Christians of various parishes and convents of these regions but also by people of other faiths and citizens who promote the cause of peace and unity of India.

Today is the fourth day of the on-going Dharna at Jantar Mantar which is to culminate at Raj Ghat on the birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation - 2nd October. Thousands of people from all walks of life are expected to join the rally which is being held to protest against the terrorism of Bajrang Dal and VHP who have been, in the last decade, making concerted efforts, to demolish the existence of the minorities in India, targeting particularly the Muslims and Christians.

On 27th, the former Prime Minister Mr. H. D Devi Gowda addressed the rally calling on the Central and State governments to do something substantial to stop the attacks on the peace loving Christian Community. He spoke about the need to preserve the secular nature of the Constitution and the country. Mr. Shaid Sidiqqui of the BSP, bringing the message from the Chief Minister of UP Ms. Mayawati - who has asked for a ban on Bajarang Dal - spoke about the need to save India from disintegrating at the hands of those who want to break up the country by dividing it on religious lines. Ms. Amarjit Kaur, Central Council Member (CPI) who lambasted the communal forces bent on destroying the social fabric of the country said how it was necessary to preserve the unity and integrity of the nation.

Ms. Margaret Alva, a senior leader of the Congress Party also came and addressed the Sit-in Dharana on Sunday and asked everyone to be vigilant about the forces which are out to kill the innocent by making completely false allegations of "religious conversions" by force or fraudulent means on them.

The Christians of Delhi and NCR are hoping that the 7 Day Sit-in Dharna will attract the attention of the larger Indian society about the atrocities done to them. Mr. Lalu Prasad and other political leaders are expected to address the Dharana in the next few days.

Issued by: Fr. Dominic Emmanuel SVD

Communication/Information Bureau
9-10 Bhai Veer Singh Marg
New Delhi - 110 001
Tel/Fax: +91 11 23363214
cibdelhi@gmail.com
www.cibdelhi.com


From: Communication Information
Sent: Saturday, September 27, 2008 1:36 PM
Subject: 7 days Dharna at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

CHRISTIANS OF DELHI & NCR
Movement against Communalism and Violence
C/o Archbishop's House, 1 Ashok Place, Gole Dak Khana New Delhi- 110001
Phone: 011-23343457, 23362058 Fax: 23746575 Email: archbishopdelhi@yahoo.co.in

Chairman, Organizing Presidium: Archbishop Vincent M Concessao

Contact: Dr. Richard Howell 9810348604, Dr. John Dayal 9811021072, Fr. Dominic Emmanuel 9810018071,
Rev. Madhu Chandra 9868184939, Adv. Jenis Francis 9811064616, Mr. A.C. Michael 9818155290, Fr. George Abraham 9868884300

Religious leaders call
for end to violence against Christians

New Delhi, 25 September 2008

Dear Friends,

Joined by Prayag Peetha Ishwara Shankaracharya Omkarnandji Maharaj, Maulana Nomani of Jamiate-Ulema-e-Hind, Granthi Jagtap Singh Jagiana of SGPC-Delhi, Mahatma Lama Lopchang From Laddak and others the Christian leaders in the capital city have urged all the citizens of good will of India to stand up and speak for the beleaguered and bleeding Christian community.

The community is organizing a 7 Days sit-in Dharana at Jantar Mantar from 26th September to culminate on 2nd October at Raj Ghat. People of all religions but particularly the Christians from all over Delhi & NCR are going to gather at Jantar Mantar everyday round the clock. On 2nd October, on the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, a procession will begin at 2 p.m. from Jantar Mantar and will culminate at Raj Ghat at 5.00 p.m. Political and religious leaders are going to present their views on these days. Tomorrow morning at 10, the Dharana will be inaugurated by former Prime Minister Shree H. D. Deve Gowda.

Since 1988, India has seen an unfortunate attempt to polarize Indian society on religious grounds. Violence on Christians first peaked in 1998-99, what we have seen since December 2007 till date in Orissa has been unprecedented in the 2000 years history of Christianity in this land. Even as we address this press conference reports are coming of entire blocks in the Kandhamal district besieged by armed mobs led by Bajrang Dal and VHP commanders, medical relief teams have been attacked and villages burnt once again in the Tikabali: Raikia areas.

Violence in fact has spilled out of Orissa in a planned conspiracy to engulf other states. So far, five have been affected including Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh. Even in Delhi a church has been demolished in Peragadi last week.

We deeply regret that at the time when one of India's smallest community is under the threat of its very existence, the former Deputy Prime Minister Mr. L. K. Advani has chosen this moment to call for a national debate on conversion. There indeed is a need for a national debate on how to keep India secular, on how to preserve a cherished democracy for which all our forefathers fought so hard and how to nurture its delicate pluralism which has earned its reputation over the centuries. Such a debate must discuss the role of fundamentalists and fascists organizations and militant political groups who scoff at the constitution of India and take the law into their own hands.

We are happy and proud that the Indian civil society and its majority community are with us in this common struggle to preserve the values of our mother land.

Issued on behalf of
CHRISTIANS OF DELHI AND NCR
Movement against communalism and violence


FACT SHEET
THE TOLL
ANTI-CHRISTIAN VIOLENCE
24 August – 24 September, 2008

1. ORISSA
14 Districts hit
300 Villages destroyed
4,100 Houses burnt
50,000 Homeless
57 People murdered
10 Fathers/Pastors/Nuns injured
2 Women gang-raped
18,000 Men, women, children injured
49 Churches destroyed
13 Schools, colleges destroyed

2. KARNATAKA
4 Districts devastated
19 Churches attacked
20 Nuns, women injured

3. KERALA
3 Churches damaged

4. MADHYA PRADESH
4 Churches damaged

5. DELHI
1 Church destroyed

By: Vivekmani Lakra - Staff

Communication/Information Bureau
9-10 Bhai Veer Singh Marg
New Delhi - 110 001
Tel/Fax: +91 11 23363214
cibdelhi@gmail.com
www.cibdelhi.com