Man killed in fresh violence in Orissa’s Kandhamal


Bhubaneswar : Communal tension escalated after a man was killed and several others injured Thursday in a clash that erupted between two groups of people in Orissa’s Kandhamal district, an official said.

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Some people set fire to at least three houses at Sisupanka village under the Raikia police station, as a result of which the clash erupted, the police said.

A man was killed in the clash, a senior police official of the region told IANS by telephone. The man, it appears, was beaten up and attacked with an axe. His body bore injuries, the official added.

Earlier Thursday, the Orissa government said it has sought 10 additional companies of paramilitary forces to curb the communal violence that has erupted in the district since the killing of a Hindu leader last month.

“At present, 29 companies of forces are deployed in the district and we have now sought 10 more companies,” a senior home department official told IANS.

The state government is also sending seven more companies of forces from other districts to the region, he said.

The district continued to remain volatile, with people blocking roads and torching houses.

Kandhamal district has been witnessing communal violence since Aug 23, when Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four others were shot dead by unidentified gunmen at his Jalespata Ashram.

Since then, thousands of people have been rendered homeless, many churches attacked and at least 25 people, mostly Christians, killed in the state.

Orders prohibiting gathering of five or more people are still in force in the district and night curfew is imposed in most towns.

The violence re-erupted Tuesday after one person died in police firing in Raikia town, about 280 km from here.

More than 1,000 people, mostly women, surrounded the local police station demanding the release of two people who had been arrested Monday on charges of rioting.

The mob pelted stones, forcing police and CRPF troopers to stage a baton charge and then open fire. One person was killed and 25 people, including many policemen, were injured.