Orissa Steel

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Bhubaneswar, Dec 28 (UNI) Orissa Steel and Mine Minister Padmanav Behera today resigned from the cabinet in the wake of communal clash between the tribals and Christians in Kandhmal district over last five days.

He tendered his resignation after meeting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at his Secretariat office this evening.

Later talking to newsmen, Mr Behera said he had tendered his resignation on moral ground and denied that he has been asked by the Chief Minister to tender his resignation.

The Kui Samaj in Kandhmal had demanded his resignation alleging that the Minister had caused the situation to flare-up in Kandhmal.

The irate tribals also ransacked the houses of Mr Behera at Firingia and Nuagaon and burnt his vehicles on December 25 last.

The communal clash in Kandhmal had left two dead while several houses belonging to both the communities and churches were burnt by the rioters.

Mr Patnaik has already ordered a judicial inquiry into the incident under a retired judge of Orissa high court.

UNI

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