NHRC team begins probe into Orissa communal violence

November 13th, 2008 - 5:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Nov 13 (IANS) A seven-member team of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Thursday started investigations into the Orissa communal violence that left 38 people dead and thousands homeless earlier this year.The team visited several riot affected areas, met victims and senior district police and administrative officials, said superintendent of police S. Praveen Kumar.

The team during its stay in the state till Nov 18 will also tour other part of the state rocked by the communal riots following the murder of a Hindu leader and four of his aides in the Kandhamal district Aug 23.

“The NHRC team toured several affected areas and met the victims there,” Kumar said.

There has been no violence in the district since over a month and peace has returned to all the areas after spate of religious stirs in August and September, the police officer said.

Kandhamal district, some 200 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar, was the worst hit.

Officials say at least 38 people were killed and over 23,000 Christians were forced to flee their homes after the murder of the Hindu leaders in Jalespata Ashram. While some have returned, more than 10,000 are still living in government-run relief camps in the district.

Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians alleges that the number of people killed in the violence could be more than a hundred.

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