Orphanage in Orissa set on fire, 1 dead

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Bargarh (Orissa), August 25 : A woman died and a Christian priest suffered critical injuries on Monday when an orphanage was set on fire in Orissa's Bargarh district on Monday during the 12-hour shutdown called by Vishwa Hindu Parisad (VHP) against the killing of a senior VHP functionary on Saturday night.

Deputy Superintendent of Police G. C. Mohapatra said, "Some unidentified attackers first ransacked the orphanage at Phutpali, around 85 kilometre from here, and then set fire to two rooms of the orphanage which led to the woman being burnt to death while the priest sustained serious burns." e added the woman's identity was yet to be ascertained. The priest was admitted to a hospital here.

According to police the miscreants extensively damaged the furniture.

Enforcing the statewide shutdown in protest against the killing of VHP leader Swami Lakshmanananda and four of his disciples, activists of the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and other Hindu outfits took to the streets blocking all national and state highways in almost all parts of the state since morning bringing vehicular traffic to a halt.

Train services were paralysed completely with protesters squatting on rail tracks. All schools and colleges in the state remained closed as per the Government orders. unning down of the 85-year old VHP leader also rocked the State Assembly, which was adjourned for an hour today as members of coalition partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), stormed the well demanding immediate arrest of the guilty.

Earlier in the day, the State Secretariat and the Assembly remained virtually inaccessible even for the government employees. The Ministers and legislators had a tough time in reaching the Assembly to take part in the proceedings of the ongoing monsoon session.

ANI

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