Kandhamal riot victims flee from Orissa due to government's failure to provide relief

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Srikakulam (Orissa), Dec 25 (ANI): Orissa is witnessing mass migration by the tribals victims of last year's religious violence, due to apathy of the administration.

The residents from various districts and villages of the state are fleeing to neighbouring Andhra Pradesh in search of security and livelihood.

The tribals lament apathy by the Orissa government in providing them relief even a year after the religious violence that shook the state in 2008.

"The riots took place in our district on August 25. We suffered heavy losses during the riots. Till date, the government has not provided any relief. They keep on giving assurances but nothing has been done so far," said Udaya Kumar Khatual, a villager.

The villagers say that the Government has not taken enough initiative for their rehabilitation.

"We were facing a lot of problems there. The government did not listen to us. The riots were so sudden. We lost everything in those riots. So we decided to migrate from our village in search of better life," said Nagamma, another villager.

The Government authorities on the other hand, claim to have adequately provided for the victims.

"(We had taken) all steps to provide them the required relief as per the government prescribed guidelines and they've also received the relief and house building grants from Block Development Officer of Rayagada and Uadayagiri," said Prakash Kumar Das, Collector, Rayagada.

Violence in Kandhamal erupted in 2008 after armed men killed a Hindu leader and four others, an attack Hindus blamed on Christians.

The leader had been heading a local campaign to reconvert Hindus and tribal people from Christianity. (ANI)

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