Two dead in mob-police clash in Orissa’s Kandhamal district (Lead)

September 14th, 2008 - 1:10 am ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Sep 13 (IANS) Two people were killed Saturday in fresh violence as an armed mob clashed with policemen in Orissa’s Kandhamal district that saw communal violence in rcent weeks.”At least 400-500 people, some of them carrying firearms, attacked a man’s home and set it on fire at Krutamgarh village,” district collector Krishan Kumar told IANS.

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) troopers camping in the region rushed to the spot and tried to bring the situation under control. Two people died and a securityman was critically injured, the official said.

“The exact causes of the deaths are not immediately known,” he said, adding that the mob first opened fire on the police.

Communal violence erupted in Kandhamal after Swami Lakshmananda Saraswati, a central advisory committee member of the Vishwa Hindu Parisad (VHP), and four others were shot dead by unidentified gunmen at his Jalespata Ashram in Kandhamal district Aug 23.

Police suspect Maoist rebels killed them but some Hindu groups blamed Christians for the murder and went on the rampage. Christian groups have repeatedly denied the allegation.

Since the evening of Aug 23, the state has witnessed communal violence in which 17 people, mostly in Kandhamal district, have died and thousands have been rendered homeless.

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