Two more people killed in Orissa violence (Second Lead)

October 3rd, 2008 - 8:34 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghBhubaneswar, Oct 3 (IANS) Anti-Christian attacks continued in Orissa as two people were allegedly dragged out from a house and killed by a Hindu mob in Kandhamal district Friday despite the large police presence, police said here. A mob of about 100 people rushed to Dungiapanka village in the district and dragged out two people - one a Hindu and the other a Christian - from a house before killing them, a district police official told IANS by phone.

Police forces have been rushed to the interior village.

Meanwhile, four people were arrested for the alleged rape of a nun in Baliguda in the district. More than a month after the nun filed a complaint alleging she was raped and paraded naked in a village while a dozen policemen watched, the Orissa government Friday ordered a probe into the allegations.

The government also suspended the inspector in charge of Baliguda police station, where the nun had filed the complaint Aug 26 - three days after a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader was killed, triggering a spate of violence targeting Christians and churches in which at least 34 people have lost their lives so far.

An officer of the rank of inspector general of police of the Crime Branch would probe the complaint, a home department official said.

The police collected the medical examination report of the nun just two days ago following media reports and Sister Nirmala, Superior-General of the Missionaries of Charity, writing to the state authority seeking justice for the nun.

According to the nun’s written complaint, a mob of about 40 armed men attacked a house at K. Nuagaon village where she along with a priest, Father Thomas Chellantharayil, had taken shelter after their centre was attacked. The mob dragged her and the priest and took them to the deserted office of an NGO where she was allegedly stripped and raped. The priest was doused with petrol and beaten up.

They also paraded her naked on the streets, she alleged, saying that the incident occurred in the presence of a dozen policemen.

Authorities have arrested 46 people in the past two days on charges of rioting.

“We have arrested more than 300 people in the past month. Forty-six of them were detained in the past two days,” a police official said.

Officials said they were likely to arrest more people in the next few days if the violence does not stop.

Over 5,000 security personnel have been deployed in the region. Curfew and prohibitory orders have been clamped in many areas.

On Wednesday, mobs set fire to dozens of houses in the Raikia area of the district. On Thursday, arson and violence spread from Kandhamal to the neighbouring district of Boudh.

“Unidentified people set fire to over a hundred houses of Dalit Hindus in at least nine villages in Boudh district,” said Additional District Magistrate Mihir Chandra Mallik.

“We have set up a relief camp at Kantamal town to provide food and shelter to the people who have lost their homes,” he added.

The central government Friday expressed its “serious concern” over the continuing violence against Christians in Orissa but ruled out the imposition of central rule as has been demanded by a member of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s cabinet.

“The cabinet took note of the situation in Orissa and expressed its serious concern over what is happening. The home minister was asked to submit a appraisal note at the next meeting of the cabinet,” Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told reporters here Friday.

He was speaking after a cabinet meeting presided over by the prime minister.

“The cabinet felt strongly that the Orissa government needs to do more (to control the violence),” Dasmunsi added.

Citing a breakdown in the law and order situation or lack of governance, the central government can dismiss a state government under section 356 of the constitution and impose president’s rule.

Orissa is not new to communal violence between Hindus and Christians. On Jan 22, 1999, Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons, 10-year-old Philip and six-year-old Timothy, were burnt alive by a Hindu mob in their vehicle in Keonjhar district.

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