VHP Opposes Govt Relief to Rebuild Orissa Churches

November 18, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Times of India

Wire Service: IANS


The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Tuesday said it was opposed to the move by the Orissa government to rebuild churches that were damaged during the communal violence in the state's Kandhamal district in August.

“The government has no right to spend taxpayers' money to appease the Christian community. Churches and Christian training centres are patronising conversion activities,” general secretary VHP's Orissa unit Gouri Prasad Rath said.

“If the government wants to restore communal harmony in Kandhamal it must stop any kind of financial help for their reconstruction,” he said.

It had only asked the government to look into the issue in a humanitarian manner but the government seems to be mistaking the court order,” Rath added.

“Orissa is the first state in the country that is offering financial help for reconstruction of religious institutions damaged during communal violence. It may lead to further tension in the region,” he said.

The state government had recently notified that it would provide Rs 200,000 each for churches and temples destroyed during the riots. It is also to give Rs.100,000 each to partially damaged places of worship and Rs.50,000 each to prayer halls that were destroyed.

Kandhamal district, some 200 km from here, witnessed large-scale communal violence, mostly attacks on Christians and their places of worship, after the Aug 23 killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda and four of his aides.