Kandhmal returns to normalcy

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 23: With the strife torn Kandhmal fast returning to normalcy, the district authorities lifted the prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPc promulgated in the entire district from today but enforced the night curfew in five police stations limit.

Kandhmal's Superintendent of Police Praveen Kumar said night curfew continued to remain in force in G Udayagiri, Tikabali, Raikia and Saranggada police stations although situation in these areas was described as normal with no untoward incidents reported during the last fortnight.

District Collector Krishan Kumar said the night curfew would be lifted any time from these areas while reviewing the law and order situation.

The district authorities have taken steps to constitute peace committee in each and every village to ensure that the people who have taken shelter in the relief camps, would return home.

The communal violence that erupted in the aftermath of the assassination of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his disciples on the night of August 23 last, had so far claimed 37 lives in the trouble-torn district of which four people were killed in police firing.

Nearly 53 companies of central paramilitary forces had been deployed in the districts besides the Orissa State Armed Police force to contain the violence.

As many as 647 people had so far been booked in connection with the violence while the police have registered 644 cases.

Local administration has constituted several teams comprising the police and civil officials to oversee the return of the riot victims to their respective villages from the relief camps.

Sources said the Baliguda relief camp where as many as 320 families had taken shelter ever since the communal violence broke out, was closed yesterday and the families returned to their villages.

Officials claimed that so far 400 riot affected people had been provided Rs.10,000 each as first installment of compensation. The state government had announced to pay Rs.50,000 for fully damaged houses and Rs.25,000 for partially damaged house in the riots.

According to a preliminary survey conducted by the district officials about 3269 houses were damaged in the violence and 154 places of worships were destroyed. At least 15 government and other buildings were also either fully or partially damaged in the violence.

UNI

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