Centre to assist for rehabilitation of Kandhmal victims-Pawar

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 17 (UNI) Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar today said the Central government would assist the Orissa government in the rehabilitation of people in the riot-hit Kandhamal district.

The Union Minister was speaking to newspersons after discussing the Kandhamal situation with Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and other senior officials.

Mr Pawar arrived here today on a three-day visit to the state as a leader of the three-member Ministerial team to assess the situation in Kandhmal, which witnessed communal violence in the aftermath of the assassination of VHP leader Swami Laxmananada Saraswati and four of his disciples on August 23.

Other members of the team were Union Tribal Affairs Minister P R Kyndiah and Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Meira Kumar.

The team had almost a two-and-half-hour discussion in which the state government apprised in detail of the Kandhamal incidents and the steps taken by the government to contain it.

The team, Mr Pawar said, would visit Kandhamal tomorrow and discuss with the Chief Minister and other government officials again on day after tomorrow.

The team members would also meet leaders of various political parties and NGOs before leaving for New Delhi on November 19.

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