Patil reviews situation in violence-hit Kandhamal, minorities demand protection

January 2nd, 2008 - 5:47 pm ICT by admin  

Kandhamal, Jan 2 (ANI): Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil today reviewed the situation in the violence-hit areas of Kandhamal district in Orissa.
Patil met the Chief Minister Navin Patnaik and other top government officials at the Raj Bhavan in Bhubneswar.
Later in the day, Patil met a delegation led by the leader of the opposition J B Patnaik that submitted a memorandum demanding protection of minorities in the state. The delegation alleged that the State Government had failed from its duty of protecting the minorities.
On Tuesday, the Orissa Government had transferred a top police official from the riot-hit Kandhamal district. The district’s Superintendent of Police N Bhol was removed from the post and given assignment at the Home Department.
The Naveen Patnaik Government, on Monday, announced compensation for victims of riot in the district. Families whose houses were burnt down by the attackers would be provided with one dwelling unit each under the Indira Awas Yojana. Whose houses had been damaged partially would get Rs. 10,000 each as compensation. The next of kin of the three persons who were killed in the violence would be given one-lakh rupees each as ex-gratia from the Chief Ministers Relief Fund.
The State Government has set up a judicial commission, headed by Judge (retired) Basudev Panigrahi to probe the communal violence in Khandamal district.
Many people have gone missing since the violence broke out on December 24.
At least three people were killed in the violence that was sparked off on December 24 when Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists led mobs burnt down churches.
Over a dozen churches and prayer houses in Khandamal district were torched by the suspected Hindu activists over Christmas celebrations.
The Hindu activists were reportedly agitated following an attack on VHP leader Laxamanananda Saraswati, who led an anti-conversion movement. (ANI)

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