Catholic continues hunger strike to force action for peace in Orissa
Published: December 18, 2008
NEW DELHI (CNS) -- An Indian Catholic on a hunger strike to force government action for peace in India's Orissa state refused food even after police took him to a hospital. Rajiv Joseph was taken to the hospital Dec. 18, eight days after he began his "hunger strike until success or death" on Human Rights Day, reported the Asian church news agency UCA News. After returning to his cloth canopy on the roadside the same day, he told UCA News, "I'm physically fit, and I'll continue fasting." His canopy is in an area set aside for public protests, about a mile from India's Parliament. Joseph said he has consumed only water since he began fasting. The police followed normal procedure by taking him to a hospital, but when the doctors said he was fit, the police could not keep him there, he added. Joseph, president of the Indian Minority Front, a political party he launched in November, is demanding that more security forces be sent to Orissa, where he said Christians remain afraid after Hindu fanatics attacked them for seven weeks, starting Aug. 24.
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