NCP demands President's rule in Orissa

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 5 (UNI) Expressing serious concern over unabated communal violence in Kandhamal since August 23, the Orissa unit of the Nationalist Congress Party(NCP) today demanded deployment of Army and imposition of President's rule in the state.

NCP state unit president Bijaya Mohapatra told newspersons here that the situation in Kandhamal deserved President's rule as the BJD-BJP government, led by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, had ''utterly failed'' to protect the lives and property of the people.

He said no state in the country had ever witnessed such a ghastly incident of communal clashes in which houses and places of worships were torched and people burnt alive.

Mr Mohapatra said despite the presence of nearly 33 companies of the CRPF in trouble-torn Kandhamal, the situation had not changed and demanded that the CRPF be withdrawn from the area and Army called in to prevent further law and order problem in the riot-hit areas.

Quoting official record, the NCP president said during the last four years, as many as 187 cases of communal clashes took place in the district, yet the Naveen Patnaik government had not taken any step to prevent recurrence.

He said an NCP delegation, which recently visited Kandhmal, described the situation as tense and claimed that over 100 people had lost their lives in the violence which spread to the most remote and inaccessible areas.

Mr Mohapatra demanded that the state government come out with a Special Act with the approval of Parliament to put a blanket ban on any conversion or reconversion in the area at least for one year to restore normality in the district.

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