Bhubaneswar, Dec 25 (UNI) Curfew imposed in Phulbani town, Baliguda, Daringibadi and Brahmanigaon area in Kandhamal district in the wake of fresh violence during the day.
Official sources said the miscreants today set fire to the Tikabali police station,burnt eight vehicles and ransacked the houses of State Steel and Mines Minister Padmanav Behera after a mutilated body of the tribal hacked to death by some unknown miscreants found near the Barakhama village.
The irate tribals burnt the vehicles of Steel and Mines Minister and damaged his houses at Phirinigia and Nuagaon.
Realising the gravity of the situation the authority deployed nearly 26 platoons of police force in all the sensitive areas in the trouble torn Kandhamal district to prevent further escalation of the law and order situation.
Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, meanwhile, appealed to the people of Kandhamal district to maintain peace and communal harmony The Chief Minister in a message said Orissa has a long tradition of maintaining communal harmony and urged the people to cooperate with the district administration's effort to restore peace in the area.
Kandhamal district Superintendent of Police Narasingha Bhol said so far 17 people from both tribal and Christian communities were arrested on charges of attacking Swami Laxamanananda Saraswati and causing damages to a gate and ransacking the shops.
The Kandhamal district today witnessed road blockades at various places by the Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists to protest the attack on the tribal by the Christian communities.
The VHP had called for a four hour Orissa Bandh from 0800 hours to 1200 hours as a result both road and rail traffic were affected at many places in the state.
Mr Bhol said while the RSS supporters had blocked the road at Baliguda, G Udaygiri and Raikia, the Qui samaj had blocked the roads at Phulbani, Khajirpada and Tukabali and the Christian community at Brahamnigaon and Daringibadi area.
The district authority had convened the peace committee meeting in Phulbani town tomorrow to diffuse the tension and restore peace in the area.
The trouble started when the tribals opposed a gate erected by the Christian on a disputed land to celebrate Christmas.Both the community indulged in brick batting and the situation took an ugly turn when three tribals sustained bullet injuries during the clash The situation turned further worse when Swami Laxamananda Sarswati of Chakapada Ashram was attacked by some miscreants while he was proceeding to the scene with some of his followers to enquire about the incident.
The Deputy Inspector General of Police and Superintendent of police were camping in the area to monitor the law and order situation.
Eds: here pls pick up suitably from earlier series.