Orissa deploys more forces after fresh violence in Kandhamal

September 26th, 2008 - 1:32 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Sep 26 (IANS) About 700 additional security forces were Friday deployed in Orissa’s volatile Kandhamal district after a mob killed one person and set fire to over a dozen Christian homes, an official said.”We have deployed more forces in the troubled area,” Orissa inspector general of police Pradeep Kapur told IANS.

More than 3,000 paramilitary personals were deployed in the district after communal violence erupted following the killing of a Hindu leader on Aug 23.

“Now seven more companies of paramilitary forces - about 700 personnel - have been sent to the area,” Kapur said.

Communal tension escalated in the district after a man was killed and several others were injured in a clash between two groups of people in Sisupanka village under Raikia police station Thursday. Some people also set fire to houses in the village and nearby areas.

On Thursday, the Orissa government said it has sought 10 additional companies of paramilitary forces from the centre to curb the communal violence.

Kandhamal district has been witnessing communal violence since Aug 23, when Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four others were shot dead by unidentified gunmen at his Jalespata Ashram.

The VHP accused Christians of the murders, a charge strongly denied by Christian organisations.

Since then, thousands of people have been rendered homeless, many churches attacked and at least 25 people, mostly Christians, killed in the state.

Prohibitory orders are still in force in the district and night curfew is imposed in most towns.

The violence re-erupted Tuesday after one person died in police firing in Raikia town, about 280 km from here.

More than 1,000 people, mostly women, surrounded the local police station demanding the release of two people who had been arrested Monday on charges of rioting.

The mob pelted stones, forcing police and CRPF troopers to hit people with batons and then open fire. One person was killed and 25 people, including many policemen, were injured.

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