Situation in Kandhamal has improved, Orissa govt tells SC

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New Delhi, Sep 11 (UNI) The Orissa government today informed the Supreme Court that the situation in Kandhamal district of Orissa, where violence broke out following the murder of VHP leader Swami Laxmananad Saraswati on August 24, has considerably improved.

Counsel for the state government also submitted before a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam that all necessary steps have been taken by the state administration to maintain law and order and prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPc are also in force in Kandhamal as well as other sensitive areas of the state.

According to the affidavit of the state government, VHP leader Praveen Togadia was not permitted to take out a procession with the ashes of the slain Swami on September 7. There has been no fresh violence in any part of the state and the situation is fully under control.

The apex court adjourned the hearing of the petition filed by Raphael Cheenath, Archbishop of Cuttack, seeking a CBI inquiry into the incidents of violence in which 27 tribals were killed.

The apex court asked the petitioner and the state government to sit together and sort out the remaining issues such as demand of compensation of Rs 4 lakh each to the families of the victims.

The apex court adjourned the hearing by four weeks. It also directed the state government to provide medical facilities and other relief to those staying in the relief camps and also to ensure that the camps are not attacked by the miscreants. Bajrang Dal, VHP and RSS activists are suspected to be behind the Kandhamal violence.

UNI SC AE RP DS1400

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