|India||GOVERNMENT HAS FAILED TO HELP MINORITIES, SAY BISHOPS|
The Catholic Bishops' Conference of India said on Friday that federal and state governments had failed to protect religious minorities.
``From the sytematic way the fundamentalist forces have been operating, it is clear that there is a strategically worked out plan against the minorities and against Christians in particular,'' a statement by the Conference said.
``...we note...the failure of both Central (federal) and state govenments to uphold the constitutional rights of the weaker sections,'' it said.
A recent US State Department global survey on religious freedom said that members of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, had been linked to violence against religious minorities in India.
The BJP heads the current coalition government.
In January, an Australian missionary and his two sons were burned to death while they slept in their vehicle in the eastern state of Orissa.
Police originally blamed Hindu activists of the Bajrang Dal group, which has links to the BJP. An inquiry into the incident, published last month, ruled out the group's involvement.
Reuters 11:39am 20/9/99