Kandhamal clash, extremists attack Brahmanigaon village: Home Sec

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 5 (UNI) Taking advantage of the chaotic situation in Kandhamal following a communal clashes between tribals and Christians, extremists had attacked Brahamanigaon village on December 27, Orissa Home Secretary T K Mishra today said.

Briefing newspersons on the situation along with Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy, Mr Mishra said the attack was carried out at the height of the clashes.

Earlier, the state government had stated that one person was killed and a police constable injured when a two thousand strong mob armed with weapons attacked the village and local police station in a planned and organised way.

Police had to open fire in defence and the exchange of fire between the police and attackers continued for several hours.

Later, police conducted a search operation and recovered more than ten guns and several rounds of ammunition from the remote areas of the district.

The Home Secretary said the district was peaceful and 47 peace committee meetings had so far been held in different places to maintain communal harmony.

He said curfew would be lifted in a couple of days after the district collector reviewed the situation.

At present, night curfew has been imposed in Phublbani, Daringibadi, Brahamanigaon, Phiringia and Baliguda areas.

The state Chief Secretary also said the National Commission for Minorities would visit the district on Monday next and hold a discussion with the state government on Tuesday.

He further added that so far, 99 cases were registered and 119 people were taken into custody for their alleged involvement in the clashes.

As per the latest report, approximately 800 houses were damaged of which 480 were fully and 320 partially damaged.

The Chief Secretary said the government would announce an acceptable rehabilitation package after the field officers completed the survey and submitted a report.

Replying to a question, Mr Tripathy said the government had no report of the violence spreading to newer areas and violation of the anti-conversion law any where in the state.

He said relief materials were being supplied to the affected people and 2000 Food Assistance Cards issued to those not staying in relief camps.

UNI BD DP PP AB 1606

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