173 arrested for involvement in Kandhamal violence

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Bhubaneswar, Feb 18 (UNI) Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today told the Orissa Assembly that so far 173 people have been arrested for their involvement in the recent riots at Kandhamal.

Replying to a question of Congress member Taraparasad Bahinipati, he said the arrested were involved in 53 cases.

However, altogether 127 cases had been resistered in connection with the incident and were under investigation.

Mr Patnaik also said the government had taken some short as well as long terms measures, including regular meetings with the leaders of various religious and ethnic groups right from the panchayat level to the district level, to prevent recurrence of such violence.

He also informed that the ST&SC Development department has already clarified that no non-tribal could claim tribal status on the ground that he speaks 'Kui' language.

Mr Patnaik said the government had already started inquiry against those who allegedly got government jobs on fake ST certificates.

He also said instructions have been given to implement the provisions of the ST and other traditional forest dwellers Act 2006 to address the problems of landless tribal families.

In addition to it, the government, he said had opened 54 girls' hostel and planned to open seven residential ST Girls High Schools in Kandhamal district during this fiscal.

Special measures were also being taken to promote organic cultivation and a special grant of Rs 10 crore sanctioned to improve the infrastrcture of the district, he added.

UNI BD PP RD SP RK1550

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