Civil Society demands steps to check violence in Orissa

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 1 (UNI) A group of intellectuals under the banner of the Civil Society of Orissa today urged Governor M C Bhandare to initiate steps to check escalation of violence in the aftermath of the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxamananda Sarswati.

A memorandum, signed by renowned artist Jatin Das, social activist Swami Agnivesh, writers Sitakanta Mohapatra and Jayant Das, former Chief Secretary Sahadev Sahu and journalist Rabi Das, requested the Governor to see that the ''attacks do not escalate into organised communal riots.'' They also requested the Governor to uphold the Constitutional commitment to secularism and ensure that the investigation reached its result and the victims get justice.

The intellectuals feared that if religious extremism was not opposed now, it would lead to communal polarisation and damage the social, cultural and secular fabric of the society.

Before meeting the Governor, they marched in a silent procession with placards denouncing communal violence.

Places of worship and prayer houses had been attacked and damaged after VHP leader Swami Laxamananda Sarswati, along with four of his disciples, was killed on August 23 in Kandhamal by unknown assailants.


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