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Posts Tagged ‘Kandhamal’

Riot-hit refuse to come back (orissa story)

Posted by jytmkh on November 5, 2008

Dwijendranath Padhy

Riot-hit people of Kandhamal who have taken shelter in Sourakuligam village in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh
Riot-hit people of Kandhamal who have taken shelter in Sourakuligam village in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh



PARLAKHEMUNDI: At a time when the State Government is claiming that riot-hit people of Kandhamal and nearby areas are returning to their houses, there are about 250 persons of the strife-torn areas who are refusing to go back to their villages out of fear.

They have taken shelter in two villages of Meliaputti and Mandasa mandals of Srikakulam district in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, 35 km from here.

As many as 109 persons of 35 families of Sarlaguda, Raikia, Nuagaon, Baliguda, Bataguda, Barkhama, G.Udaygiri, Tikabali and Suraballi areas have been residing at Sourakaligam village of Meliaputti mandal, AP, since Kandhamal violence.

‘‘Two days after the killing of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati, our village was attacked and houses were damaged. Apprehending danger, we fled to the nearby jungle and from there, we walked to Bhanjanagar in Ganjam. From there, we took a bus to Meliaputti,’’ said Santa Nayak (30). When asked if she wanted to return to her village in Kandhamal, she said : ‘‘We are not safe there.’’ Similar is the story of 10-year-old Amulya of Barkhama village of Baliguda.

He along with his family shifted to Sourakuligam village of Meliaputti immediately after the Swami’s killing.

The pastor of Meliaputti said these persons had submitted a memorandum to the District Collector of Srikakulam through the Tribal Christian United Welfare Association, requesting help basing on which the Collector has asked the local tehsildar to submit a report.

Besides, there are 140 others of Kandhamal, who have taken shelter at Kumudhisingi village of Mandasa mandal.

Meanwhile, social activists of Gajapati have urged the State Government to take steps to bring back these people to their villages.  (Expressbuzz)


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Court asks nun to be present at identification parade

Posted by jytmkh on November 5, 2008

BHUBANESWAR: The nun who was raped in Kandhamal has been directed by a district court to be present at the test identification parade on November 10. The court of sub-divisional judicial magistrate at Baliguda issued the notice to the 29-year-old Catholic nun on November 1 after it was informed that the Crime Branch of police had failed to trace the complainant.


The court fixed November 10 as the date of the parade at Baliguda while hearing a petition filed by the Crime Branch investigating officer Dilip Mohanty. In his application, Mohanty told the court that the Crime Branch was facing difficulties in conducting the identification parade due to non-cooperation of the complainant who had lodged an FIR at the Baliguda police station on August 26 alleging rape. 

Though the Orissa government as well as the police had made several appeals to the raped nun, she did not turn up to assist the investigation. The Supreme Court in its order on October 22, had also asked her to assist in the probe. 

The nun, however, told reporters in Delhi on October 24 that she did not have faith in Orissa Police and demanded a CBI probe. “The court in its notice has asked the nun to be present during the TIP on November 10,” assistant public prosecutor B Loknath Dora told PTI. The court notice has been sent by post at the nun’s address at the Bishop’s house in Bhubaneswar.

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Bottom line: No food security in Kandhamal

Posted by jytmkh on October 31, 2008

Express News

BHUBANESWAR: Torn apart worldwide for the communal frenzy in recent times, Kandhamal has got a new label, and yet another dubious one. It is Orissa’s most insecure district in terms of food security.
  The no-railway, no-industry district is at the bottom of the table on food security index, according to the ‘Food Security Atlas of Rural Orissa,’ prepared by UN World Food Programme (WFP).
  The tribal-dominated district is not the only one at the nadir. For company, it has Gajapati, Rayagada and Nabarangpur which too have been termed extremely insecure.
  However, Kandhamal rules the bottom. In terms of food availability, it has been ranked 30th. Access to food index puts it at the 24th position. Ability to absorb, another parameter, leaves the district at the 30th position.
  The Food Security Index (FSI), as per this report, is a composite of three parameters including availability, access and absorption.
  While food availability uses factors like per capita value of agricultural output, percentage of villages having access to paved roads, proportion of net irrigated area to sown area and forest cover, access takes into account percentage of agricultural labour, SC/ST population, working age population and per capita monthly consumption expenditure. The absorption factor is all about percentage of households having access to safe drinking water and PHC access.
  The Atlas, prepared by WFP and New Delhi-based Institute of Human Development, revealed that going by per capita agricultural output, Kandhamal is ranked lowest (30th) while irrigation coverage puts it at 29th, just ahead of Nabarangpur.
  A district with such low development indices, Kandhamal having high forest cover has low net sown area leading to even lower irrigation and a pathetic per capita agricultural production estimated at Rs 900 per annum.
  The report was released by Abhijit Sen, member, Planning Commission, in the presence of India Country Director, WFP, Mihoko Tamamura. It has showed that rural connectivity to Kandhamal is the poorest, so are indices on access to safe drinking water.
  Interestingly, the report shows that only three districts in the State are secure while another six are moderately secure.
   ‘In the State, there is a contiguous zone of acute food insecurity – all districts of eastern ghats and the adjoining coastal pockets,’ it said. Tamamura said the Atlas marks the start of a comprehensive food security information system and will enable rational allocation of resources to the most vulnerable areas for improving food and nutritional security.

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42000 CONVERTED only 2 followed law

Posted by jytmkh on October 31, 2008

Sources-New Indian Express

KANDHAMAL (Orissa): There has been a 66 percent growth in Christian population in Orissa’s Kandhamal region, which has seen attacks on Christians and churches. Of the 42,353 who adopted Christianity between 1991 and 2001, only two followed law to change religion
According to data available with the district collectorate, the Christian population in Kandhamal was 117,950 in the 2001 census, up from 75,597 a decade earlier.
“The Christian growth rate in the district is 66 percent as against 18.6 percent for the overall population growth in the district,” District Collector Krishan Kumar told IANS.
Kumar said that the Orissa Freedom of Religious Act, which came into action in 1989, allows people to change or adopt any religion but all such individuals need to submit a form to the district magistrate.
“We have received just two applications not just between 1991 and 2001 but between 1989 and 2008. We must understand that every one must follow law,” Kumar explained.
However, he did not specify what action the district administration has taken to punish those who have violated the law.
Asked if he attributes the growth of Christian population to conversions, he said: “It could be because of two reasons – conversion and migration.”
Of the over 650,000 people in the troubled district, at least 53 percent are tribals, less than 20 percent Christians. Of the nearly 118,000 Christians, a majority has converted from Dalit families.
Kumar said that conversion, longstanding caste conflicts between tribals and Dalits, poverty and growing influence of Hindu groups among the tribal population had led to several communal clashes in recent years.
Ever since the killing of Swami Laxmanananda, a Hindu religious leader, and four of his supporters by unidentified gunmen Aug 23, anti-Christian violence has been boiling in Kandhamal.
While Maoists have claimed responsibility for the murders, the Hindu leader’s supporters have insisted that Christians were behind the murder. The Orissa Police are investigating the case.
At least 38 people including a Central Reserve Police Force trooper lost their lives in clashes. While over 3,000 houses, mostly belonging to Christians, were gutted or vandalized in Kandhamal, over 23,000 people fled from their villages fearing death.
“Yes, there is a growth in Christian population but that does not mean fanatics from organisations like Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad can kill people,” Hemant Naik, a rights activists from Udaygiri town, told IANS.
“While talking about conversion, we must also talk about reconversion. While no one has complained about their change in faith to Christianity, 62 people have registered complaints about forced reconversion to Hinduism,” said another activist, Issac Digal.

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CRPF Personnel killed in Kandhamal

Posted by jytmkh on October 14, 2008

A staffer of the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) was killed by a mob as fresh violence broke out in Orissa’s troubled Kandhamal district, police said Tuesday.

About six to seven unidentified people attacked two CRPF men on Monday evening at a village under Raikia police station area.

While one of them managed to escape unhurt, the other was killed in the attack, said District Superintendent of Police S Praveen Kumar.

“Police recovered the body on Monday night. He has injuries on his torso and head. It appears he was first beaten up by sticks and then killed by a sharp weapon,” Kumar said.

The fresh violence is a setback for the state government, which has been claiming that normalcy is slowly returning to the region.

Kandhamal district has been witnessing communal violence since August 23 after the killing of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and four others at his ashram by unidentified gunmen.

In retaliatory violence, thousands of Christian homes and churches have been burnt and at least 36 people killed.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said in New Delhi on Monday that the trouble in Kandhamal was not just a communal problem and there were many other factors compounding the problem.

The district has a long history of ill-feeling and suspicion between Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes on a variety of issues such as forcible occupation of tribal land and jobs being secured on the basis of false caste certificates among others, Patnaik had said.

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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.

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