Group of Ministers formulate six-point strategy for peace in Orissa

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Bhubaneshwar, Nov 20 : A Group of Ministers (GOM) sent from the Centre to Orissa's Kandhmal District has announced a six-point strategy to strengthen peace, normalcy and communal harmony in the area.

In a review meeting with State Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Bhubaneswar on Wednesday, the Central Ministers asked the State Government to protect the lives and properties of minorities in the district.

The three-member group led by Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar assured the State Government of the Central Government's support on confidence building measures for people in Kandhamal.

Pawar said a report would be submitted to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on the visit.

Earlier, Patnaik appealed to anti-Christian groups not to ferment trouble by calling for a shutdown on Christmas Day.

"There should not be a shutdown on Christmas day this year. We are working towards normalcy in the district. Normalcy has returned after the unfortunate incidents that have taken place," he said.

The region witnessed communal violence since following the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four of his aides were shot dead by unidentified gunmen at his Jalespata Ashram in August this year.

Christians have experienced mob attacks in the wake of that incident.

ANI

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