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Hindu Forum Of Britain Condemns Indian Bomb Blast And Appeals for Calm

by Hindu Forum of Britain

Posted March 9, 2006

The Hindu Forum of Britain, UK's representative umbrella organisation for British Hindus, condemned the bomb blasts in the Indian holy city, Varanasi, which reportedly killed 15 persons and injured 60 others.

Blasts were reported in at least three locations in the northeast Indian city: at the Sankat Mochan temple, where Hindus were gathered for devotions; inside a train that had stopped at the city's main train station; and near a ticket counter inside the station.

"It is most unfortunate that terrorism has reared its head once again in an attempt to divide the communities in India," commented Ramesh Kallidai, secretary general of the Hindu Forum of Britain. "The fact that they have targeted one of Hinduism's most sacred cities seems to suggest they want to exploit communal tensions. Many British Hindus are deeply concerned about the developments in India and hope that people from all communities will remain united in defeating the terrorist agenda."

"It is important to allow the law to take its stance and for people not to react to this madness," said Arjan Vekaria, chair of the Security Committee of the Hindu Forum of Britain. "We appeal to people of all communities to continuing maintaining peace and friendship."

Sectarian tensions have risen in the region recently, with three people dying in communal riots in the nearby city of Lucknow on March 3. The strife was apparently triggered when armed Muslims tried to force Hindu merchants to shut their shops to protest against U.S. President George W. Bush's visit to Pakistan.

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For more information contact Sanjay Mistry on 07810 368 772 or Ramesh Kallidai on 07915 383 103 or 07867 837 241

Editor's Notes:

1. The Hindu Forum of Britain is the representative umbrella body for British Hindus with formal membership of over 270 Hindu organisations from different regions and cultural backgrounds in Britain. The Hindu Forum of Britain has conducted some of the largest community consultation activities on behalf of the Hindu community to influence Government policy and runs a number of projects for Hindu youth, women, community safety and temples.

2. Although the Hindu Forum is a national organisation, it has a large regional presence through its membership from the largest regional umbrella organisations, religious organisations, community organisations and youth organisations.

3. At the core of the Forum's activities is a strong belief in the richness and diversity of the Hindu culture, its value system that encompasses respect for all beings and faiths, and a cultural heritage that facilitates community cohesion and coexistence. For more information visit the HFB Website: www.hinduforum.org.