Bhubaneswar (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic Church in Orissa is on alert after the killing of five civilians, including two Christians in the district of Kandhamal in the Indian state of Orissa. As Fides learns, the five were killed by a group of soldiers. The Archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar, His Exc. Mgr. John Barwa, Chairman of the Bishops Council of Orissa, condemned the killing of the five people, which took place on July 8, demanding justice for the innocent victims. According to the reconstruction of the event, the five were killed by paramilitary forces who were patrolling the area of Kandhamal because, according to the official version, they were mistaken for Maoist rebels. In addition to the five deaths, there are five wounded.
According to Fr. Ajaya Kumar Singh, a priest and activist for human rights, the killings are the result of the failure of intelligence, or are part of a plan "that seeks to eliminate tribals, Dalit and Christian minorities in the district". In 2008, the district of Kandhamal was the scene of anti-Christian violence that resulted in 100 dead and 50,000 displaced. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 13/07/2016)