Orissa fast track courts begin work to try riot casesMarch 1st, 2009 - 8:17 pm ICT by IANS
Bhubaneswar, March 1 (IANS) Two first track courts inaugurated Sunday in Orissa have begun work to clear cases related to communal violence in Kandhamal district, officials said.
The courts were inaugurated in a renovated building in the district headquarters of Phulbani, some 200 km from here by Chief Justice of the Orissa High Court B.S. Chauhan.
“Two judges have taken charge of the new courts. All the cases starting from the murder of Saraswati and subsequent violence would be tried in these courts,” Ranjan Kumar Panda, registrar of the district civil court at Phulbani told IANS.
“The process of transfer of the cases from local courts will begin from tomorrow,” he said, adding that the number of cases to be tried in the new courts would be over 500.
The Kandhamal district witnessed widespread communal violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram at Jaleshpata Aug 23.
Subsequently, at least 38 people were killed in the state and more than 25,000 Christians were forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs.
Soon after the communal violence, at least 40 companies of central paramilitary forces were deployed in the district in phases. Now 19 companies are still left in the region, District Collector Krishan Kumar said.
“The situation at present is absolutely normal. Only about 1,000 people are left in government relief camps and about 2,500 people are living in transit relief camps near their villages,” he said.
The Supreme Court in October last year directed the state government to set up fast track courts in Kandhamal district to try the cases arising out of the communal violence.