Women clash with police at relief camp in Orissa, several hurt

September 4th, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Sep 4 (IANS) Several people sustained serious injuries as a mob of women clashed with the police at a relief camp in Orissa’s Kandhamal district Thursday, officials said. The women forcefully entered the relief camp, alleging that despite being riot victims, the administration was unconcerned about them because they were Hindus, the police said.

The women, belonging mostly to tribal areas, were demanding food and lifting of prohibitory orders banning assembly of more than five people in a place.

“They rushed with lathis (sticks) and axes and forcibly entered the relief camp” state inspector general of police Pradeep Kapur told IANS.

“Police lathicharged them and chased them away after they turned violent and started pelting stones” Kapur said.

“Two people have sustained injuries”, he added.

Unofficial sources, however, put the number of injured at 38 with at least six of them believed to be in serious condition.

Communal violence has killed at least 16 people and affected thousands in Orissa since Aug 23.

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.

Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed in 12 of the 30 districts of the state.

Curfew has been clamped in all major towns in Kandhamal district.

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