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Religious Violence in Northeast India

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Published on Aug 31, 2008

And recent religious violence in the region has cast a shadow of fear. Here's more what life is like for the locals affected.

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STORY:
During religious violence on Monday, a mob burned down an orphanage after driving children away. But a 22-year-old woman trapped inside was charred to death.

Hindu protesters also destroyed several churches, blocked traffic with burning tires and clashed with police.

The locals whose houses were burned recount the horrors.

[Bipin Diggal, Kandhamal, India]:
"Some people came to my house and threatened to kill us. Seeing them, I decided to run away with my wife. We locked up our house and ran away. It is a good thing my children were at their uncle's house otherwise it would have been difficult to carry them along. I and my wife managed to save ourselves with great difficulty."

Everyone has been overtaken by fear and are too scared to go outside.

[Umesh Chandra Pradhan, Kandhamal, India]:
"We are afraid to venture out of our homes. We are under a constant threat that somebody might attack us."

Religious violence was sparked last week when 30 heavily armed men raided a Hindu religious home killing five people, including a Hindu religious leader. The Hindu leader was leading a local campaign to reconvert tribal people from Christianity.

Maoist rebels have been linked to the attack. Police sources say that by attacking Hindus, the Maoists are trying to win support among the region's poor tribal people.

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