Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Monday, September 6, 1999 Published at 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK

World: South Asia

Strike over priest killing

A burnt out church after an attack last year

Nageshwar Patnaik in Bhubaneshwar

Schools were closed, shops were shut, and rail and roadway traffic interrupted in response to a strike called for by the state's governing Congress in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.

It came after the murder of Catholic priest, Father Arul Dass last week.

The call to strike affected the state capital, Bhubaneshwar and the district headquarters of Mayurbhanj.

Father Arul Dass was murdered in Jambani village, part of Mayurbhanj district.

A few banks in both places responded to the strike and groups of strikers blocked main roads in Bhubaneshwar with burnt rubber tyres.

State authorities say more than 500 strikers have been temporarily arrested - and will be released later this evening.

Pointing the finger

The Congress party had called for a strike about a week ago protesting at the gruesome killing of a Muslim trader by what they suspected was the right-wing Hindu group - the Bajrang Dal - also in Mayurbhanj district.

All major parties had responded to the call - apart from the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its principal ally in the state - the Biju Janata Dal.

Congress leaders have since maintained that the two parties patronise the Bajrang Dal.

They also allege that the person accused in the Graham Staines murder case - Dara Singh - is involved in the most recent incident of violence in the state.

Staines murder unresolved

The Australian missionary Graham Staines was burnt alive in his car with his two sons in the same area earlier this year.

A judicial commission which released its report recently held Dara Singh responsible for the killing, but did not identify any organisation for its involvement in the incident.

Congress continues to allege that the BJP and the BJD are protecting Dara Singh and that all these incidents of violence are closely linked to his involvement.

The BJP and BJD allege in turn that Congress is responsible for these incidents - which it says are failures in maintaining civil law and order. Ends.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

03 Sep 99 | South Asia
Catholic priest killing condemned

06 Aug 99 | South Asia
Hindu groups 'did not kill missionary'

26 Jan 99 | South Asia
Indian president calls for understanding

23 Jan 99 | South Asia
Fire mob kills missionary

28 Dec 98 | South Asia
No season of goodwill for India's Christians

Internet Links

Orissa on net

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

Sharif: I'm innocent

India's malnutrition 'crisis'

Tamil rebels consolidate gains

From Sport
Saqlain stars in Aussie collapse

Pakistan fears Afghan exodus

Hindu-Buddhist conference in Nepal

Afghan clerics issue bin Laden fatwa

Culture awards at Asian festival

Gandhi pleads for husband's killer

UN condemns Afghan bombing

Gandhi prize for Bangladeshi