Full team of the Minorities Commission may visit Kandhamal soon

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New Delhi, Oct 6 (UNI) The Kandhamal district of Orissa ravaged by communal violence may witness a visit of the full team of the National Commission for Minorities soon.

A Member of the Commission told UNI that a decision about the visit of the Commission would be taken at a meeting to be held here this evening.

''The continuing violence and surfacing of more cases of rape including that of a nun has prompted us to visit the district and meet the people, as the administration in the state capital had not given a true picture of the gravity of the situation,'' he said.

''Members of the Christian community were feeling terrorised and afraid of speaking out and lodging FIRs, so the Commission thinks it necessary to go to the district and hold public hearing to know the truth,'' the Member said.

Earlier, the Commission had sent a one-man mission to the state, but the visit was confined to the capital, so despite the nun's rape having taken place before the visit, the Commission could get no information about it, he said.

The violence in the district had been trigerred by the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati on August 23. The targeted community was accused of beind the murder, whereas the responsibility for the act was accepted by the Maoists.

Meanwhile, Orissa Home Secretary Tarun Kanti Mishra yesterday said in Bhubaneswar that three rape cases had been reported in Kandhamal district following the killing of VHP leader and four others.

Mr Mishra said four suspects have been arrested so far in the case of molestation of the nun. He said the nun, who had filed an FIR with the Baliguda police station on August 26, was now staying in a Church in Delhi.

The Commission had also visited Karnataka and submitted a report to the Prime Minister, demanding a ban on all those organisations preaching and indulging in communal violence.

UNI NAZ RAI1335

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