Christians in Orissa, India, could face a fresh wave of violence after another Hindu extremist was shot and killed in Kandhamal district in November, allegedly by Maoist insurgents.
In August, anti-Christian violence erupted in several Indian states following the murder of a Hindu leader. Even though Maoists claimed responsibility, militant Hindus took revenge on Christians. There are continued reports of extremists burning Christian property, especially in Kandhamal.
One Christian ministry leader described the violence as ‘religious genocide’ after visiting the trouble zone. Estimates of the death toll have ranged from 40-100, but a new Communist Party report puts the figure at 500 plus. This follows leaked information from an anonymous senior government official that he had ordered the burning of 200 bodies found in the jungle.
Fears of fresh attacks are growing, following the killing of another Hindu militant who worked for the extremist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) organisation, says aid agency Release International.