Sister Nirmala meets Naveen, discusses Kandhmal violence

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 7: Sister Nirmala, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, Kolkata, today said the Orissa government should take strong steps to bring the violence under control in strife-torn Kandhmal.

Sister Nirmala who met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at his residence here, later told newspersons that the situation in Kandhmal was not good.

She hoped things would come to control, stating that '' we have to support them through prayers and efforts''.

When asked whether she was satisfied with the steps taken by the state government to contain the violence in Kandhmal, she said taking strong measures were very important that the government must continue.

On allegations that the minority community was involved in the murder of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, Sister Nirmala said the Crime Branch of Orissa Police would find out the truth.

She also said the victims of Kandhmal, taking shelter in the relief camps, could not go back to their homes unless things were settled.

Referring to the nun rape case, she said the state government was now trying to book the culprits.

Sister Nirmala said, ''She (the nun) will certainly cooperate with the Orissa police during investigation provided there is proper atmosphere.'' MORE

Meanwhile, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, after holding a high-level meeting, directed the officials to keep a strict vigil on the situation prevailing at Kandhamal and restore peace in the district. The Chief Minister said the situation had improved a lot and normalcy was gradually returning in the district.

Mr Patnaik told newspersons that the special administrator, the revenue secretary and other senior officers would proceed to Kandhamal for ensuring peace and implementing the package announced by him on September 27.

The Chief Minister, who visited Kandhmal on September 27, had announced that ten police inspectors would be appointed to verify the false caste certificate issue and camp courts would be held to settle land disputes between the Pana community and the tribals Kandhas.

He also said a hostel for 250 girl students in every block would be established in the district, along with setting up training centres to upgrade the skill of local people.

Moreover, about five hundred local people would be recruited in the police department in a bid to restore peace.

The government also decided to appoint an officer of the rank Additional District Magistrate for the rehabilitation of the riot victims.

UNI

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