629 arrested in 412 criminal cases in Kandhamal violence

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 12 (UNI) The authorities have so far filed 412 criminal cases and arrested 629 people in connection with the communal violence in Kandhamal district.

The violence broke in the district following the assassination of VHP leader Swami Laxamananda Sarswatia and four of his disciples on August 23.

State Home Secretary T K Mishra told newspersons here today that as many as 19 bodies were recovered from the trouble torn areas.

The situation in the district, he said was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.

The Home Secretary said relief and rehabilitation was going on smoothly and the Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil had expressed his satisfaction over the arrangement made by the state government during his visit to the state.

Mr Mishra said, at present seven battalions of central para military forces were deployed in various parts of the state to maintain law and order.

The state government, the Home Secretary said would review the deployment of security personnel at a high level meeting on September 15 and if necessary would ask for more forces.

The central government, he said, had already assured to provide security personnel as demanded by the state to contain the situation.

To a question,he said the police are making good progress and trying to nab the killers of the Swami.

On the election to Urban local bodies in Kandhamal, the Home Secretary said the State Election Commission(SEC) is likely to take a decision over the issue tomorrow after discussing with the officials concerned.

The Kandhamal District Collector and the Superintendent of Police had requested the SEC to postpone the election in Kandhamal in view of the prevailing law and order situation.

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