Letter from Dr. Rajnish Samal, Diptipur, India
greetings…at present I am in Cuttack… I left D’pur on the 23rd to attend my Sister in laws engagement on the 24th. We reached Ctc on 23rd at 1030 pm and at 0030 AM 24th I got a message via sms that the Swami has been killed in Kandhamal.
24th morning 6 AM I got a call from Fr Edward that we should request Police protection , and he had already got 2 guards in front of his house. Same day we went to drop mom at BBSR airport as she was going to Bangalore to my brother and already the effect was seen as there were road blocks by protestors as early as 0700 AM. Then we proceeded to Khurda for the engagement.
25th was the day of the bandh called by the VHP. Again a call at 0600 AM by father Edwards that the area was tense. AT 1230 I got a call saying that they had burned down the church at Padampur which is 20 kms away from D’pur. Also a police jeep was burned down. 0230 PM I was informed that they had burned the home and hostel of Fr Edward and they had burned 2 hostel inmates works in the area by rehabilating the leprosy colony and provides education to the children of the colony and the poor children of the area–all health care is provided by the hospital to the colony}.later reports say that actually a caretaker Rajani was burnt alive,the children are safe and father is now being shifted to a tertiary care as he has developed Pneumonia -they had beaten him ,locked him in the bathroom and then set his house on fire.
25th Diptipur was tense .I was getting frantic calls from the community and staff as there was word that it was their next target – the church, hospital,schools and hostels. thanks to friends of the hospital who pressurised the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police to take action at Dpur…they were in Diptipur till 0230 hrs of 26th…following more force has reached the place and they are staying in the schools and the hospital premises. As of today 28th the situation is still tense with reports that the VHP and the saffron mob is still planning an attack on Diptipur from all the 3 roads leading to the place.
We have discharged all the patients. Very few come to the hospital every day. Dr Ipsita is in hiding in the community as she is a known face of padampur.I plan to go back next week after some normancy has reached.
We are very thankful to many of the locals – teachers,businessmen and political leaders who have been supporting the local christian community.
Yesterday a group of political leaders had visited Padampur and also Diptipur – promising all help and support.
As situation is still tense , this has affected the lives of many. We have cancelled the eye camps which was midway as it is not possible to bring in patients.
Please continue to pray for Diptipur and for all the people there. Please pray for the unrest all over Orissa.
With kind regards,