Readers may have seen the outrages taking place against Christians in the Indian State of Orissa. I wrote to my local MP, Tobias Ellwood about it. Via him, I had this response from Mark Malloch-Brown, the British Minister of State for Foreign Affairs:
"We condemn the recent attacks on innocent individuals that have led to the deaths, injuries and widespread displacements in Orissa. On 25 September the Indian Central Government ordered the Chief Secretary of Orissa State to take firm and effective steps to deal with these continued outbreaks of communal violence and bring the perpetrators to justice.
We welcome the Indian prime Minister’s unequivocal statements condemning these attacks, most recently on 29 September following the India EU summit. We also welcome the deployment of additional police in Orissa to restore law and order and the offer of compensation to victims. We were relieved to note the recent comments of local archbishops, state officials and police suggesting that the situation is slowly returning to normal, even though attacks are still being reported in Orissa, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. I officially conveyed our concern at the current situation to the Indian High Commissioner on 1 October.
Our High Commissioner in Delhi, with European and other partners, has been monitoring the current situation in Orissa and in neighbouring states. They also monitor issues of religious freedom in India more generally. Our staff have regular meetings with the Indian authorities to express our concern about all incidents of religious intolerance. We use such occasions to urge the Indian government to uphold the right of freedom of religion enshrined in the Constitution and to bring to justice those responsible for attacks.”