Odisha’s Kandhamal region celebrates Christmas in tight security

December 29, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Bhuabneswar, December 26, 2016: Christians in the communally sensitive Kandhamal district if Odisha, eastern India, celebrated Christmas amid tight security.

A tribal outfit, Kui Samaj Samanwaya Samiti (KSSS) on December 23 announced that it would go ahead with 12-hour shut down on Dec 25 in Kandhamal district, the epicenter of 2007 and 2008 anti-Christian violence.

On Dec 24, KSSS withdrew the call after discussions with the district administration.

“No untoward incidents were reported from anywhere. Christian people celebrated their festival in churches across the district. The collector, the Kandhamal Superintendent of Police and other top police officials patrolled sensitive places all night,” said Inspector General of Police, southern range, Amitabh Thakur.

The administration provided police protection to most churches in the district.

The Christmas celebration went peacefully, said Fr. Nabakishore Digal, assistant parish priest at Christ the King Parish, Phulbani, district headquarters of Kandhamal.

Many people came to visit the church and Christmas crib, said Fr. Angelo Ranasingh, parish priest of Holy Rosary Church, Daringbadi, a town in the district.

“We thank sincerely to the government Odisha for the police protection for the Christmas celebration 2016,” said Divine Word Archbishop John Barwa of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, which covers Kandhamal.

Meanwhile, another liberal outfit based in Kandhamal, Banabasi Surakhsya Parishad (BSP, council to protect forest dwellers), condemned move by what it called communal and divided forces such as KSSS to disrupt the Christmas celebration.

“Giving a bandh call on the eve of Christmas is old and habitual disease of Mr. Lambodar Kanhar, secretary of KSSS. Previously the people of Kandhamal have rejected to such communal force and will be do so on future,” said BSP convener Narendra Mohanty.igal

– matters india

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