NHRC team to visit Orissa to probe attacks on minorities

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New Delhi, Sep 16 (UNI) The National Human Rights Commission will be sending an investigation team to the violence-affected areas of Orissa to probe the recent attacks on the minorities by fundamentalists.

The Commission's move comes on a petition by the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India, seeking protection from violence at the hands of the fundamentalists.

The petition said the attacks started with the murder of VHP leader Lakshmanananda Saraswati on August 23, in Kandhamal district.

Some organisations had accused a community of the murder and thereafter targetted it, the petition said.

Further it alleged that despite the assurance of protection from the government, the fundamentalists were moving about with lethal weapons threatening the community. The petitioners said the destructive activities of the fundamentalists, even in the presence of police was forcing members of the community to flee their homes and take refuge in the forest or even leave the state. The petition highlighted that there were at least 40 to 50 thousand refugees in the state.

The Commission after going through the petition said the allegations raised serious questions of violation of human rights.

It said a copy of the petition be sent to the State Chief Secretary and the DGP for a report within two weeks.

UNI MMG KK RP HS1757

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