Bhubaneswar, Dec 25 (UNI) Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today appealed to the people of Kandhamal district to maintain peace and communal harmony even as police arrested 17 people for yesterday's arson and rioting between the two communities at Brahamanigao village under Baliguda sub-division of the district.
In a message Mr Patnaik said Orissa has a long tradition of maintaining communal harmony and all should endeavour together to maintain it and cooperate with the district administration's effort to restore peace.
Kandhamal district Superintendent of Police Narasingha Bhol told UNI over phone today that people from both the communities were arrested on charges of attacking Swami Laxamanananda Saraswati and causing damages to a gate and ransacking the shops.
The SP said the situation was tense and 13 platoons of security personnel had been deployed in all vulnerable area to prevent any untoward incident.
Another six platoons had been rushed to the area from other district but the movement of security personnel was hampered as various organisations and groups had blocked the roads at different places.
Mr Bhol said while the RSS supporters had blocked the roads at Baliguda, G Udaygiri and Raikia, the Qui Samaj had closed the traffic at Phulbani, Khajirpada and Tukabali and the Christian community at Brahamnigaon and Daringibadi area.
The SP appealed to the people to remove the blockades and facilitate the movement of security personnel to maintain peace.
Eds : Pls pick up from earlier series UNI