Orissa Government bans VHP yatraSeptember 4th, 2008 - 7:26 pm ICT by ANI
Bhubaneswar, Sept 4 (ANI): Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Praveen Togadias proposed yatra carrying the ashes of slain Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati throught Orissa will not be allowed assured the States Government told the Supreme Court on Thursday.
A bench of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, directed the state government to ensure that no untoward incident takes place in riot-hit Kandhamal District.
The Orissa government said prohibitory orders under section-144 have been clamped in the area.
The Naveen Patnaik Government has also filed an affidavit providing details about the deployment of paramilitary forces and state police in the areas affected by communal clashes.
On Wednesday the Supreme Court had directed the Orissa Government to submit its report on steps taken to protect the lives of people belonging to the Christian community in riot-hit Kandhamal district by Thursday.
The Archbishop of Cuttack had filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking a CBI probe into violence against the Christians in Orissa, which was heard by a three-judge Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.M. Panchal.
The petition also sought the involvement of the National Human Rights Commissions (NHRC) to conduct a probe and find out as to which organisation was behind the Kandhamal violence.
The petitioner further claimed that the Rapid Action Force (RAF) has been deployed only in the cities and the rural areas had been left out and bore the maximum brunt of the unrest. They want the RAF to be deployed in rural areas as well.
Moreover, the petitioners wanted that a compensation of Rs. four lakh each should be given to those whose property were destroyed in the violence.
On August 23, Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati along with four other people was shot dead in his Jalaspeta Ashram near Tumudibandha in Kandhamal District.
The remote and forested Kandhamal region is rife with religious tension between hardline Hindus who accuse Christian priests of bribing poor tribes and low-caste Hindus to change their faith.
The region is also a stronghold of Maoist rebels and police said that there is evidence to link the rebels to last week”’’s murders.
The police sources said that by attacking Hindus, the Maoists were trying to win support among the region”’’s poor tribes, many of whom have converted to Christianity. (ANI)