Shivraj Patil visits riot-hit Orissa

September 3rd, 2008 - 3:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Sep 3 (IANS) Home Minister in the central government Shivraj Patil arrived here Wednesday along with several officials for an on the spot assessment of the situation in Orissa’s riot-hit areas, an official said.Patil will visit the worst hit Kandhamal district, meet victims and look at the relief measures taken by the state government, a home department official said here.

He will also review the situation in the district headquarter of Phulbani, he said.

The Supreme Court Wednesday directed the Orissa government to submit a report by Thursday on the steps taken to protect lives of people in riot-hit areas.

In Orissa, life is limping back to normalcy where communal strife has claimed 16 lives, the police said Wednesday.

Inspector General of Police Pradeep Kapur said that the worst-hit Kandhamal and Koraput districts had reported no breach of law and order Tuesday and early Wednesday.

“But the possibility of fresh violence can never be ruled out. We are here to intervene promptly if such things happen,” said Kapur, camping in Kandhamal.

The violence erupted after Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and four others were killed by unidentified gunmen at his ashram in Kandhamal Aug 23.

The police said that Maoists were responsible for the killing. But blaming Christians for the murders, thousands of Hindus attacked Christian homes and churches.

The government deployed police and paramilitary forces in 12 of Orissa’s 30 districts. Curfew was imposed in Kandhamal and in a part of Koraput.

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