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Orissa Violence: Kandhamal reports from NDTV

Posted by jytmkh on August 29, 2008


As Kandhmal continues to simmer with sporadic incidents of violence around 30,000 Christian run schools and colleges across the country will be closed on Friday as part of the All India protest by Christians against the violence there.

In West Bengal, Christian organisations will demonstrate before the Orissa Bhavan.

In reaction to the violence, there has already been a police reshuffle in the conflict-torn district with the former DCP of Cuttack moving in as the new superintendent of police of Kandhmal.

The Orissa assembly is expected to take up a no-confidence motion by the Congress against the Navin Patnaik government’s handling of the situation.


Violence subsiding in Orissa, curfew relaxed
Amid signs of subsiding violence in Orissa’s riot-ravaged Kandhamal that left 10 people dead, relief camps and free kitchens were opened in six places and curfew was relaxed in some areas.

In the wake of many of its MLAs and ministers demanding party’s withdrawal from the coalition government, senior BJP leaders met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seeking a thorough probe into the killing of VHP leader Laxmananda Saraswati instead of presuming Maoist involvement in the crime.

They said the real culprits should not be shielded at any cost.

While their demand was seen as a pressure tactics to regain the party’s diminishing importance in ruling combine, BJP general secretary in-charge of Orissa Vinay Katiyar discussed the matter with state unit to resolve the issue.

Claiming the situation in Kandhamal was returning to normalcy, the chief minister told the assembly that free kitchen and relief camps were operating in six block areas while security personnel were asked to conduct flag marches to ensure peace and harmony among the people.

The riot-affected people were being accommodated in relief camps with adequate police protection, he said, adding that magistrates and police force were being deployed in all sensitive places.

While as many as 11 criminal cases had been registered in different police stations of Kandhamal relating to murder, arson and rioting, the total number of criminal cased were 85 across the state.

Noting that the government would not spare anyone who took law into hands, Patnaik said 167 people have been arrested so far.


One Response to “Orissa Violence: Kandhamal reports from NDTV”

  1. Job Xavier said

    The cold-blooded killing of 84-year-old Swami Lakshmanananda on the night of Janmashtami is a grim reminder of a deepening divide. In fact, this was the tenth attempt on the sadhu who had vigorously protested conversion. The last bid on December 24 triggered a wave of communal violence that took days to subside and that wound has not yet healed.Widespread religious conversion is an unpleasant reality despite stringent laws enacted in the late Sixties.
    On Saturday, the ashram was celebrating Janmashtami, when around dinner time, a group of 30-40 armed assailants surrounded the place. Eyewitnesses said about four of the assailants carried AK-47s and many others had country made revolvers. Two of the four home guards stationed for security had gone to eat and only two of them were guarding the premises. The assailants tied down the two guards, and gagged them. They then sought out the Swamiji within the premises and opened fire on him. The recovered bullets show they were from an AK-47, the police said. The assailants then warned the guards not to raise an alarm and fled the scene. Within minutes of the reaching the crime scene, the district authorities made a statement saying it was suspected Maoists who killed the Swami. The five attackers who the locals caught and handed over to the police are not Maoists. They are from the region. There is no reason why the Maoists will spare the policemen on duty. They would have killed them. Then, there are the leaflets that were thrown around the ashram in a very amateurish way. And last but not the least, we have never heard or seen Maoists wear masks and hoods.

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