Opposition leaders to visit Kandhamal on January 12

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Bhubaneswar, Jan 9 (UNI) Six Opposition political parties today condemned the failure of Orissa government in restoring normality and peace in the strife-torn Kandhamal district, which was rocked by communal violence between the Christians and Tribals.

Leaders of Congress, NCP, CPI(M), CPI, JMM and RJD, who met here to take stock of the situation, decided to proceed to Kandhamal on January 12 despite a ban on the entry of the political leaders in the area.

In a joint statement, the opposition leaders said reports were pouring in about the large scale arrest of innocent people while the real culprits were moving freely and protected by the administration.

Large number of people were still living in jungles and have not been able to return to their homes while many of them were yet to get relief despite government's announcement of three months free food for the victims.

The Opposition leaders alleged that they were earlier obstructed by the government and were not allowed to enter into the Kandhamal ''illegally and undemocratically''.

The meeting, however, resolved to defy the ban order imposed by the government and decided that the Opposition party leaders would proceed to the affected area for two days from January 12 next and reach the people at any cost.

The state government had denied the entry of a Congress fact finding team and the Left delegation led by Sitaram Yechury to visit the strife torn district on the plea that the situation might aggravate further.

The meeting was attended by Pradesh Congress Chief Jayadev Jena, Congress Legislature party deputy leader Narashingha Mishra, NCO Orissa Convenor Bijaya Mohapatra, CPM General Secretary Janardan Pati, CPI state secretary Dibakar Nayak, RJD president Harish Mohapatra and JMM leader Arun Jena.

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