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Hindituva Parivar top brass holds talks with Indian Christian



leaders
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from John Dayal
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Advani assurance to curb violence against minorities

NEW DELHI, December 19
Indian Home minister L K Advani has assured the country's Christian
community that he will speak with state of Gujarat chief minister
Keshubhai Patel to take urgent steps to stop the continuing violence
against minorities in the state.
The Home minister's assurance came at the end of a meeting he had with
Christian leaders in his office late last evening.
The meeting with the Home minister followed a marathon four-hour
discussion top leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh had with a group of senior Church leaders at the
Catholic Bishops Conference centre in the National Capital. The meeting
was initiated by some United States-based oversees BJP leaders and
others.
CBCI president and Delhi Archbishop Dr Alan de Lastic told the Home
minister that dialogues with the Sangh Parivar would serve no purpose
unless there was an immediate end to the physical and verbal violence
against the community, particularly in Gujarat.
While home secretary BP Singh was with the Home minister at the meeting,

the Christian delegation consisted of Archbishops Alan de lastic and
Aruldas James, Dr Richard Howell, John Dayal, Dr Mani Jacob and Fr
Dominic Immanuel.
Earlier, BJP-RSS and Christian leaders issued a joint statement after
the four-hour meeting yesterday. Details of the discussions were not
released to the press other than a brief joint statement signed by John
Dayal and Jitender Kumar, the US-based RSS leader.
Those who attended the meeting included BJP president Kushabhau Thakre,
RSS joint general secretary K Sudarshan, and BJP general secretary
Narendra Modi, Friends of India Society vice-president Jitender Kumar,
and Dr Mahesh Mehta of VHP international. Also present were US based Ken

Cherian, an academic, and Dr Ravi Narsiah.
"The meeting covered a wide range of issues, including the current
violence in several parts of the country against the Christian
community. The discussions were frank and participants expressed their
perceptions and apprehensions," the joint statement said.
The two sides stated that this was a preliminary meeting. Many of the
issues of concern to the Christian community, the BJP and the RSS
require further deliberations. It was agreed that the process of
dialogue must continue in future.
The Christian leaders present at the dialogue included the Archbishops
Alan De Lastic and Aruldas James, United Christian Forum for Human
Rights convenor John Dayal, Catholic Bishops Conference of India
assistant secretary general Fr Anand Jojo, Fr Bento,  Evangelical
Fellowship of India general secretary Dr Richard Howell, Indian Social
insitite's Jesuit director Dr Ambrose Pinto, Fr Anto, Fr Dominic
Immanuel, both SVD, National council of Churches representative Dr Mani
Jacob, Church of North India communications secretary Sushma Ramaswamy.


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