March for peace in Orissa’s riot hit Kandhamal

October 12th, 2008 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Oct 12 (IANS) A peace rally was held Sunday in Orissa’s riot hit Kandhamal district where communal violence in the past six weeks left at least 36 people dead and thousands, mostly Christians, homeless.People, including women, marched on the streets of Phulbani town, the district headquarter of Kandhamal, some 200 km from here, shouting slogans and holding placards and banners seeking peace in the region.

The march was organised by the opposition Congress party.

“We appealed people to maintain peace and brotherhood, the way they were staying united peacefully since decades,” a senior state Congress leader who participated in the rally told IANS over phone.

Prominent among those who participated in the peace march were state congress president Jayadev Jena and senior congress legislator Tara Prasad Bahinipati.

Earlier Friday and Saturday, the leaders of Left parties, Nationalist Congress party, Samrudha Odissa and other opposition parties separately held peace marches in Kandhamal.

Kandhamal has been witnessing communal violence since Aug 23 following the murder of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and four others at his ashram.

Officials said no major incident of violence was reported from any part of the district in the past 11 days although the body of an old man was found Saturday in a field under Raikia police station area.

The body had injury marks but police are not sure if the killing was related to the communal violence.

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