Kandhamal remains calm; Curfew lifted in four PS

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 18 (UNI) As the situation in strife-torn Kandhamal returned to near normal with no untoward incident reported during the last fortnight, the authorities decided to lift curfew from four sensitive police station limits.

Kandhamal Superintendent of Police Praveen Kumar said no violence was reported from the district during the past several days and night curfew was lifted from Baliguda, Phulbani, Tumudibandh and Phiringia police station limits.

However, night curfew would be in force in the rest five police stations including Tikabali, K Nuagaon, Raikia and G Udayagiri even though barring few stray incidents no major violence was reported from these areas.

The authorities had clamped prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC in the entire district as arson, violence and group clashes were reported after VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his disciples were gunned down on August 23.

Later, the authorities were forced to clamp curfew in several areas as the situation took an ugly turn leading to torching of houses, prayer halls and communal clashes. Curfew was lifted a fortnight ago only to be reimposed in nine police station areas as violence resurfaced with burning of houses and attacks on police stations by armed mob, mostly local tribals.

District officials said in view of the improved situation in most parts, they had also lifted the prohibitory orders promulgated under section 144 CrPC in many areas. The order would be in force only in some sensitive pockets, the officials maintained.

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