Central government wants CBI probe into Orissa violence: Sibal

August 29th, 2008 - 3:56 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) The government Friday said it wanted a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the recent communal clashes in Orissa, where at least 11 people have been killed in revenge for the murder of a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader last week, and stressed that it would not allow secularism to be undermined. “We want a CBI inquiry. The government of India’s image and its commitment to secularism can’t be compromised. We hope the chief minister will take strong action,” Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters after a meeting of the cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

“We would have ideally liked to go to the CBI. Those who are victims of senseless violence should get justice and get it quickly,” Sibal said while stressing the Indian ethos of toleration.

“We will not allow secularism to be undermined,” he stressed.

“It’s a matter of grave concern to the government of India. The prime minister has spoken to the chief minister and governor of Orissa. We are ready to help in whatever way we can,” he said.

“We have historically been a tolerant society. This kind of senseless destruction by individuals belonging to a particular organisation shall not be tolerated.”

Manmohan Singh Thursday said that the “government was in touch with the state government and that every effort would be made to restore normalcy in the state”.

The prime minister spoke to Naveen Patnaik, the chief minister of Orissa, and asked him to “take immediate steps in this direction”, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office.

Top Christian leaders have called for nationwide rallies and school shutdowns Friday to protest the communal violence that has seen 11 people killed and several churches and homes burnt.

Violence broke out after a VHP leader, who campaigned against allegedly forced conversions, and four others were killed on Aug 23.

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