Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
|(Photo Courtesy: India Today)|
The federal Home Ministry has ruled out releasing Maoist militants in exchange of people held hostages by the ultras.
The ministry has asked states battling Maoist insurgency to set up a special team to address hostage situations and negotiations.
It also wants the states to use the National Security Guard commandos to launch special operations to rescue those being held hostage by the Maoist.
In any case, states should not swap suspected or convicted Maoists in return for the hostages, a message from the ministry stays.
This year, the ultras have apparently stopped attacking security forces but instead resorted to abduction of government officials, tourists and politicians to seek their arrested comrades’ release.
In May, the ultras kidnapped Sukma Collector Alex Paul Menon from Majipara village and released him after two weeks. The Maoists wanted the Chhattisgarh government to release 30-odd suspected Maoists, but none were released.
Earlier, the Maoists kidnapped Odisha legislator Jhina Hikaka and two Italian nationals.
The rebels seem to be in pressure because of increased deployment of the paramilitary forces and have lost ground support as well.
The home ministry's hostage policy says that states should activate the Special Forces wing of the police organization immediately after a hostage is taken.
In case no such force exists, the federal government will send the National Security Guards commandos to secure the release of hostages.
The Home Ministry’s policy also wants the states to use of local media to turn public sentiment against the Maoists.
India: The nec, born in 1972, mainly funds infrastructure in the northeastern states.