Group clash in Kandhmal; Four killed - Naveen

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Bhubaneswar, Aug 26 (UNI) Four people were killed when group clashes leading to arson and damage of houses, shops were reported in trouble-torn Kandhmal district today.

Replying to an Opposition motion on the law and order situation in Orissa in the wake of the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati on August 23, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said violent mob belonging to both communiities at Barakhamba under Baliguda police station exchanged fire leading to the casualties.

The Chief Minister said one platoon of OSAP force deployed at the village tried their best to interpose the disperse the violent mob from both sides.

Subsequently, reinforcement, including the Rapid Action Force, had been rushed to the village to bring the situation under control.

Mr Patnaik said four dead bodies had been recovered from the spot but their identities were yet to be established.

He denied that there had been police firing as claimed by Congress MLA Jayadev Jena and said one company of RAF, two platoons of CRPF and one platoon ofOSAP had been deployed in the area to prevent further breach of peace.

The Chief Minister said on the request of the state government, three companies of RAF had arrived, two companies of them had been deployed in Kandhmal, while one company in other sensitive areas of the state.

He further said six more companies of CRPF are likely to arrive in the state soon adding that all possible steps are being taken to contain the situation.

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