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Congress condemns violence in Orissa

The Congress party condemns the violence that took place in Orissa while Christmas celebrations were on.

india Updated: Dec 26, 2007 20:01 IST

The Congress party on Wednesday condemned the violence that took place in Orissa on Tuesday while Christmas celebrations were on. The party spokemam Shakil Ahmed termed the incident as "unfortunate" and maintained that the Congress does not wish to play politics over the issue.

Rioters torched nearly 15 churches in Khandhamal district of Orissa. At least one person was killed. The mob owed allegiance to Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), according to local media reports.

Asked by reporters whether the Congress would request the minority commission to look into the matter, Ahmed said, "The party does not want to play politics on the issue. But it would wait and watch and act according to the demands of the situation."

Citing media reports, he said VHP was responsible for the vandalism. "Since the party in power (Biju Janata Dal) in Orissa is an alliance partner of the Sangh Parivar, this is a serious matter."

Ahmed said the incident is not good for the country, for the state or for "any good society". "The party would request the Orissa government to take appropriate measures to bring the situation back to normalcy as soon as possible."

On Gujarat election and the fixing responsibility on fixing of the loss, Ahmed did not give straight answers. He said the state and the district Congress committees have been asked to file a report and action will be taken accordingly.

On Jyoti Basu's statement that Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen could live in Kolkata if the central government provides her security, Ahmed said, "Providing security is the responsibility of the state. If the West Bengal government writes to the union home ministry for additional security, we will surely consider."