Orissa HC directs Centre to provide force to Kandhamal

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Cuttack, Aug 29 (UNI) Orissa High Court today directed the Centre to provide adequate central para-military force as and when required by the state government to contain the violence in the riot -hit Kandhamal and other places in the state.

A division bench of the court, comprising Chief Justice B S Chouhan and Justice B N Mohapatra, also issued notices to both the Centre and the state government to clarify their stand on the demand for a CBI probe into the violence.

The Utkal Christian Council(UCC) had moved a writ petition before Orissa High Court, seeking a CBI probe into the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmananand Saraswati and the subsequent violence in the state.

The UCC also prayed that the ''Orissa Bandh'', called by the VHP and other organisations and supported by the ruling BJP on August 25, be declared illegal.

It also urged the court to direct the state government to rescue the people, who had fled to the forest in the wake of violence in Kandhamal, and rehabilitate them.

The petitioner also demanded deployment of the Army and Central paramilitary forces in Kandhamal to protect the lives of the people and urged the court to direct the state government to provide adequate compensation to the victims and repair the houses and churches damaged in the arson and violence.

The Division bench, hearing the counsels of the petitioner, the state government and the Centre, directed the state government, the Director General of police and the District Collectors of nine affected districts to file their affidavits within four weeks.

The court further directed the state government to request the Centre its requirement of force to be deployed in the affected areas to contain the law and order situation.


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