Cop killed, police station torched in fresh violence in Orissa

September 16th, 2008 - 3:57 pm ICT by ANI  

Bhubaneswar, Sept 16 (ANI): Fresh violence erupted on Tuesday in Orissa as an armed mob gunned down a police constable and torched a police station at Gochapada in the communally sensitive Kandhamal District.
Armed with country-made guns and crude weapons, a group of about 500 shot dead a constable and set ablaze the police station early this morning, police sources said.
Other policemen present at the police station, located about 36 km from district headquarters town of Phulbani, seemed to have fled into the forest as they were heavily outnumbered by the attackers, sources added.
Following the violence, heavy security forces have been deployed in the area.
Officials described the situation in Kandhmal as “tense”. Two more bodies were recovered from Krutamgada in Tumudibandh area on Monday, taking the toll from Saturday’’s police firing to four.
The district administration reimposed day curfew in Tumudibandh area on Sunday, which witnessed exchange of fire on Saturday after hundreds of armed tribals damaged a church and house of a Pana-Christian at Krutamgada.
The Orissa police has subjected eight persons, suspected to be involved in the August 23 killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, to lie detector tests.
The report would be out within the next few days. No one has so far been arrested in connection with the VHP leader’’s murder, although the Maoists have claimed to have killed him.
Meanwhile, the State Government requested the Centre to extend stay of the 49 companies of central paramilitary forces in the riot-hit district where approximately 18,000 people are still living in relief camps.
The attendance at relief camps has come down from 24,000 a few days back to around 18,000. The number of such camps has also dropped from 14 to 12, sources said.
Twenty six people lost their lives and as many as 2,863 houses and 134 churches or prayer halls have been damaged in the attacks on Christians following the murder of the VHP leader. (ANI)

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