Kandhamal violence continues; Naveen seeks more force

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 25 (UNI) With sporadic incidents of violence continuing in the strife-torn Kandhamal district, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today sought additional ten companies of central paramilitary forces to contain the situation.

Violence erupted in the district after VHP leader Swami Laxamananda Saraswati and four of his disciples were gunned down at Jalaspeta Ashram in the district on August 23.

Briefing newspersons after a high-level meeting, the Chief Minister said the administration was controlling the situation and every effort was being made to maintain law and order in Kandhamal.

Mr Patnaik said the state government has requested the Centre to send ten more companies of central para military forces to Kandhmal.

At present 26 companies of CRPF and three companies of Rapid Action Force were deployed in the district.

In addition to it more forces of state police were being sent to control the situation, the Chief Minister said and appealed to the people to maintain peace in the area.

Director General of Police G C Nanda said stray incidents were pouring in from the districts but efforts were being made to restore peace.

On Wednesday a person was killed and some were injured in police firing in Raikia. After the incident an irate mob blocked the road to prevent the movement of police force.

The tribals in Kandhamal are up in arms particularly after the firing by the CRPF jawans in Kurtamagarh on September 13 in which four tribals were killed and several injured.

The angry tribals then attacked the Gochhapara police station, and set it afire and killed a police constable. The armed tribals also attacked the Raikia police staion.

The tribals attacked Raikia Police station on Tuesday and tried to release two of their fellow villagers arrested in connection with the riots in the district.

This led to a clash between the CRPF jawans and the villagers in which one person was killed in police firing and several others injured.

The angry tribals yesterday also blocked the Phulbani-Berhampur road by felling trees in protest against the police action. The authoprity apprehending further trouble in the area, clamped curfew in Raikia town.

UNI BD-DP KK SP HS1627

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