The European Union (EU) delegation’s two-day visit to Kandhamal on Thursday and Friday has provided both the church and the BJP an opportunity to train their guns on the state government.
Rapheal Cheenath, archbishop of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archdiocese, on Saturday blamed the state government for its “utter inadequacies” in providing houses and livelihood to riot victims.
In a separate press conference, the state BJP castigated the Orissa government for allowing the EU delegates to visit the district. “The delegates came down to Orissa at the call of Cheenath. They secretly met the clerics of churches in Kandhamal and assured them more financial assistance to promote proselytisation…,” party president Jual Oram said.
The delegation visited five villages in Kandhamal to assess the rehabilitation programme. Church leaders said despite the claims of the state government, lives of the riot victims remained far from normal.
Cheenath also blamed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for “failing to deliver” on compensation packages.
Oram alleged the delegates had violated the diplomatic protocol by trying to meet the judges of fast track courts holding trials of riot-related cases.