Indo-Americans protest against Orissa violence

NEW YORK: An organisation of Indian-American Christians conducted a prayer vigil in New York outside the United Nations headquarters to protest the attacks on Christians in Orissa.

The vigil coincided with the Catholic Church closing all its institutions in India to protest violence against the Christian community, the clergy and destruction of their institutions, allegedly by religious extremists.

The three-hour New York vigil was organised by the Federation of Indian-American Christian Organisations in North America (FIACONA), Indian Christian Forum and Gujarat Christian Federation of America.

Twelve people have so far been killed in violence triggered by the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parisahd leader Laxmanananda Saraswati in Orissa’s communally sensitive district of Kandhamal.

As many as 1,000 families in over 200 villages of the district have been affected by the violence. (Times of India)

Journalists take out rally in Gangtok

Gangtok (PTI): Journalists took out a rally in Sikkim’s state capital here to protest the attack on their colleagues by masked men leading to serious injuries to them.

The journalists took out the rally from the Press Club and marched through the Mahatma Gandhi Marg to the Manipal Hospital near Ranipool demanding strong action against the culprits.

The mediapersons wore black armbands and carried banners and hoardings condemning the attack and seeking an assurance from the state government that the right of expression of the media would be protected.

Seven journalists were attacked and injured on Friday when masked men wielding hammers and blunt objects barged into the office of the vernacular daily, ‘Hamro Prajashakti’.

The condition of three journalists, Bijoy Gurung (UNI), Shekhar Khabash (Himalayan Darpan) and D B Rai (Himalayan Mirror) was stated to be critical, hospital sources said.

All the three have sustained serious injuries on their head and arms, the sources said.

The other four journalists, associated with ‘Hamaro Prajashakti’ were released from the hospital during the day.

The journalists also submitted a memorandum to the Director General of Police (DGP) R M Raveendran and Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG), range, Akshaya Sachdeva seeking immediate arrest of the culprits.

Police officials assured the journalists that the assailants would be arrested soon. (The Hindu)