M A I N   N E W S

Khanduri orders probe into killing of Christians
S. M. A. Kazmi
Tribune News Service

Dehra Dun, September 23
While Christians felt scared after the murder of two Christian missionaries in Dehra Dun district, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Maj-Gen B.C. Khanduri (retd), taking note of the incident, has asked the police to investigate the matter and bring the culprits to book.

"The Chief Minister, who is in Delhi, has expressed concern at the incident and wanted a speedy probe into the matter," said Dr Devender Bhasin, chairman, State Media Advisory Committee, and a close aide of the Chief Minister.

Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Congress Committee president Yashpal Arya, who has demanded invocation of Article 355 of the Constitution terming the recurring attacks on Christians in Dehra Dun as incompetence of the state government, today sought an appointment with Uttarakhand Governor B.L Joshi to apprise him of the “grave situation”.

On the other hand, the bodies of Sadhu Astey, the Christian Catholic priest, and his disciple Mercy were taken to Meerut for burial. "The bodies were buried in the afternoon. We are shocked at the murders. The Christian community would meet tomorrow to decide the next course of action," Father Bernard, a Catholic leader, told The Tribune.

The police investigating the matter believes that the motive of the murders was probably robbery. However, Christians are doubtful about the police line of investigation. "Why would the robbers target a person who was living like a hermit," Hari Rao, a Christian running a school in the nearby Sahasapur area, told The Tribune.

In a communication, Simranjit Singh Mann, President of the Akali Dal (Mann), alleged that the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had failed to protect the minorities against Fascist forces. "It is a pity that like Staines’ burning in Orissa, another priest has been murdered in Uttarakhand and the state government has failed to act," he said.

Mann warned President Pratibha Patil that similar incidents were taking place in Himachal Pradesh and Punjab and that the Union Government should act.

n Edit: Murder most foul



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