Orissa violence: Minorities panel wants centre to intervene

August 26th, 2008 - 8:50 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 26 (IANS) The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) wants the central government to immediately intervene on the “outrageous communal violence” in Orissa, where at least two people have been burnt to death in revenge for the killing of a Hindu leader.“Reports of violence against a minority community are outrageous. Efforts must be made to rein in violence, and the centre must intervene effectively to restore peace in the state,” NCM chairperson Mohammad Shafi Qureshi told IANS.

Qureshi along with other panel members is meeting Home Minister Shivraj Patil at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Reports of widespread violence and arson are pouring in from different parts Orissa, with Hindu mobs targetting Christians and churches.

The minorities panel has also sought “a detailed comprehensive report” from the Orissa government over incidents of violence and arson, claiming human lives, churches, and properties.

“We will apprise Home Minister Patil of the sad feedback the NCM is getting from people in the state. We will also send our own delegation to the state to take stock of ground realities,” Qureshi said.

The violence began after the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, a member of the rightwing Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s central advisory committee, and four others by suspected Maoist guerrillas in the volatile Kandhamal district Saturday evening.

In revenge killings on Monday, a woman was burnt alive after mobs torched an orphanage in Khuntpali village in Bargarh district, about 300 km from here, and a paralytic patient was lynched and also burnt in Rupa village in Kandhamal, about 340 km from here.

Two more people were believed to have been killed in another village in Kandhamal but police could not confirm the incident because they couldn’t access the area blocked by huge wooden logs.

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