Reported by Simanchal Pattnaik
Phulbani, Dec 22 :
Leaders of the Christian community and civil society have appealed to the Kui Samaj Samanwaya Samiti ( KSSS ) to withdraw their bandh call on December 25 and help Christians celebrate Christmas with joy and in peace.
The KSSS had announced its decision on Saturday to go for a 24-hour Kandhamal bandh on December 25 over the state government’s indifference to their 34-point charter of demands. KSSS leaders said they had set December 20 as the deadline for the government to fulfill their demands but since there was no response, they chose to go for a bandh.
Advisor of the Christian Jan Kalyan Sangh Suranjan Nayak and member G.Udaygiri Baptist Church Prasant Das have in their statements said while they support all the genuine demands of the KSSS and pray to the state government to fulfill their 34-point charter of demands as early as possible, they would like the KSSS leaders to understand that Christmas is the biggest annual festival of the Christian community and the proposed bandh will spoil the festive mood.
Both Nayak and Das have appealed to KSSS to consider withdrawing the bandh call.
Leading civil society activist and secretary of Daringbadi-based NGO ‘Jagruti’, Kailash Dandpat has also made a similar appeal to the KSSS leaders and requested them to call off the proposed bandh which coincides with the Christmas celebrations across the district.
“It will be grossly unfair if there is a bandh on a day when a large section of people in the district are celebrating,” Dandpat said adding,” I am sure the KSSS leaders would be guided by reason and will earn the goodwill of people at large by withdrawing their bandh call.”
Meanwhile the police staged a flag march here to instill confidence in the minority community ahead of the Christmas. Security in and around the churches here has also been tightened.
Sources in the district administration said efforts to persuade the KSSS not to observe a bandh on December 25 is on.