Bhubaneswar, Sep 1 : The Orissa Government today said that over 558 houses and 17 places of worship have been burnt in communal riots following the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati's on August 23.
The government further claimed that the situation in Kandhamal and elsewhere in Orissa was under control.
After a review meeting chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy said, "While 543 houses were burnt in the worst hit Kandhamal district, 15 houses had been set ablaze in Gajapati district."
"A total of 35 people were injured in the riot in Kandhamal," said Tripathi adding that all the torching of places of worship were reported from Kandhamal district where over 185 people were arrested on charge of rioting, arson and other offences.
Orissa Director General of Police (DGP) Gopal Nanda said that 12 companies of para-military forces, 24 platoons of Orissa State Armed Police, two sections of Armed Police Reserve forces and two teams of Special Operation Group (SOG) have been deployed in Kandhamal.
"People were being provided with food in free kitchen in Kandhamal, Rayagada and Gajapati districts," said Tripathy
"While 12,539 people were being fed in 10 relief camps, 783 people got the facilities in two relief camps in Rayagada district," he added.
The relief camps are located at Chakapada, Raikia, Baliguda, K Nuagaon, Tikabali, Phiringia, Phulbani, Tumudibandha and Daringbadi blocks in Kandhamal district.