Mental shift

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Orissa violence: Archbishop moves SC seeking CBI probe

Posted by jytmkh on September 3, 2008

New Delhi, Sept 02: The Supreme Court would hear on Wednesday a petition filed by Archbishop of Cuttack seeking a CBI probe into the violence against Christians in Orissa.

The matter was mentioned today before a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, which agreed to give it an urgent hearing.

The Archbishop also sought a direction that the NHRC be asked to conduct an inquiry to find out the organisation behind the Kandhamal violence.

The petitioner claimed that the Rapid Action Force has been deployed only in urban areas and it has to be moved to the rural areas which have borne the maximum brunt of the unrest.

The petition also sought a compensation of Rs 4 lakh each for those whose houses were destroyed in the violence.

Volatile situation in Kandhamal

Meanwhile, the situation in Orissa’s riot-hit Kandhamal district continued to be volatile today with at least 80 houses being torched in fresh violence as the government accelerated relief and rehabilitation efforts for which Rs 2 crore has been sanctioned.

A high-level team of officials, including Home Secretary T K Mishra and Director General of Police Gopal Chandra Nanda, visited the violence-scarred district to review the situation and assess the extent of damage, official sources said.

The visit was to work out strategies for containing arson and violence in the communally-sensitive district as well as stepping up relief and rehabilitation operations for the affected, they said.

At least 80 houses were torched in fresh arson in several villages of Tikabali and Sarangada areas since yesterday noon despite considerable improvement in situation that prompted authorities to suspend day curfew, the sources said.

Describing force scarcity as a big handicap in containing arson, Inspector General of Police, Intelligence, R P Singh, said only 2,500 personnel from various forces including CRPF were available to combat violence in villages across the district.

“As the arson continues to trouble rural pockets, there is only one jawan to tackle the situation in every village,” a senior police officer pointed out.

Several women were also seen indulging in arson at some places, Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), southern division, Satyabrata Sahu said, adding more measures were being taken to tackle the situation.

Bureau Report (Zee News)

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