New Delhi, Aug 29 : The Central Government on Friday favoured a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the violent incidents that claimed at least ten lives in the communally sensitive Khandhmal District of Orissa following the killing of a VHP leader and four others.
Expressing serious concern over the communal violence in Orissa, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said: "We would have liked ideally that this matter be handed over to the CBI because those responsible should get justice immediately as judicial probe takes longer time,"
Briefing reporters after a Union Cabinet meeting here today, Sibal said it was for the Biju Janata Dal- BJP-led State Government to recommend a CBI probe by as the Centre could not do it on its own.
Expressing the Centre's unwillingness to compromise its commitment to secularism, he said: "The Prime Minister, in fact, spoke to the Chief Minister and the Governor and assured the State Government that it would give whatever help needed to bring back normalcy".
He hoped that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik would take strong measures to restore normalcy and ensure quick justice to the victims.
This kind of senseless destruction by individuals belonging to a particular organisation shall not be tolerated, the Minister added.
When asked about the Centre's role in the Singur project after reports suggested that TATA Motors have stopped work on the Nano car plant, Sibal said: "There is no role for the Central Government. It is for the State Government to decide."
However, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath had earlier stated that the Centre could play a facilitator role in resolving the crisis, which deepened after Ratan Tata threatened to withdraw the project from the state unless peace prevailed.
Underlining the need for balancing investment and justice, Sibal said: "We should not damage the investors' confidence in the country. We should not be unjust to people. We need an investor-friendly climate. Investment is not an end in itself. It should come with justice."