NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's security chief on Friday ordered a troubled eastern state to protect its besieged Christian population from Hindu-led attacks during upcoming national elections. Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram travelled to Orissa to tell the authorities to "ensure peace" in the Kandhamal district where more than 100 Christians died in violence last year, the United News of India said. "It is the responsibility of the state government to see that peace is maintained in Kandhamal," Chidambaram told reporters in state capital Bhubaneshwar. Besides growing Hindu fundamentalism, the coastal state also faces a threat from Maoist insurgents, he warned, and added he would consider deploying security helicopters in Orissa during the April-May general elections. The state is administered by a political group which was once considered ideologically close to India's main opposition Hindu nationalist BJP party. Orissa was rocked by anti-Christian attacks between August and October following the murder of a revered Hindu holy man in the state. Christians were blamed for his death. Private organisations say more than 100 Christians were massacred by rampaging Hindu mobs who also burned churches, orphanages and Catholic-run schools in the impoverished state. Some 10,000 Christians are still sheltering in state-run relief camps, according to available figures. The attacks drew condemnation from the Vatican. Christians account for 2.3 percent of India's billion-plus Hindu majority population.