Residents in violence-hit Kandhamal start migrating

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Kandhamal (Orissa), Aug 30 : Residents Orissa's Kadhamal district migrates to the neighbouring areas fearing more violence following the killing of VHP leader Laxamananda Saraswati.

Recent violence has cast a shadow of fear on the people who live under a constant threat of being attacked. Most of them have started migrating to either the neighbouring districts or to the jungles.

"They burnt down our home. It was really scary; we have been living in the jungles since the past five days. My children are crying, they haven't had anything to eat. The other day, it rained when we were hiding in the jungle, the children felt really cold," said Narayani Diggal, a resident.

Officials said that efforts are being made to bring back normalcy to the region.

"We have already started free kitchen where the persons who are affected, they can come, food is being provided under security. This process has started in seven blocks," said Kishan Kumar, District Collector, Kandhamal.

In a backlash to the killing of the VHP leader and four others on Saturday night, the violence has claimed ten lives in Orissa so far.

While the police are still carrying out investigations into the killing of the VHP leader, people of the region are living a panic- gripped life.

The remote and forested Kandhamal region is rife with religious tension, with hardline Hindus accusing Christian priests of bribing poor tribals and low-caste Hindus to change their faith.

Shoot-at-sight orders were issued on Wednesday in eight blocks -- Phulbani, Baliguda, Tumudibandh, Raikia, Nuagaon, G Udaygiri, Tikabali and Sankarakhol of Kandhamal District.

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