Centre seeks Orissa Governor's report on violence against minoriti

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New Delhi, Oct 4 (UNI) Expressing unhappiness over lack of action by the Orissa government to curb violence against the minority community, Home Minister Shivraj Patil today sought a report from the Governor about the situation in the state, indicating the possibility of imposition President's rule.

He asked the state Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare to send a report on whether the state needed to put under President's rule.

The Home Minister spoke to the Governor this afternoon and discussed the situation in the state.

He told a private news channel that the demand for imposing President's rule in Orissa was growing up. Six warnings had already been sent to the Patnaik government, he pointed out and said the state government by its inaction was breaching the Constitution.

According to sources, ''Government may accept the demand for President's rule if situation worsens.'' Mr Patil said Centre had provided additional para-military forces and copters to state government to combat the menace. About 77 companies of the BSF and the CRPF had been sent to the state, he said.

Earlier, the Home Minister had sent a strongly-worded letter to Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik yesterday asking him to do more to control the violence that had been going on for the last month in some of the districts of the state.

The Union Cabinet, too, had slammed the state government for its inability to control the violence. More than 30 people had died in the last two months of anti-minority riots, mostly in Kandhamal district of the state.

Mr Patil had said merely seeking more central forces would not stop the violence. He had asked the state government to adopt an effective strategy for creating an environment of security in the state.

The violence began in Kandahmal two months ago after Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Lakshmanananda was killed. The murder led to attacks on the minority community in the state and spread beyond Kandhamal.

The Cabinet had a special meeting on the issue yesterday after which around 5000 para-military soldiers were rushed to the state to maintain peace.

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief and Union Railway Minister Lalu Prasad has already called for the Governor's rule in Orissa.


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