Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Team to visit Kandhamal

Bhubaneswar, May 10: A four-member independent tribunal headed by two former high court judges is scheduled to visit Kandhamal district, which had been ravaged by communal strife last December.

They would oversee the relief, reconstruction and security situation. The team would comprise Justice Hospet Suresh and Justice Kolse Patil, former DGP of Gujarat R.B. Sreekumar and human rights activist Teesta Setalvad.

The members of the tribunal will visit Orissa from May 12 to 17.

After arriving at Bhubaneswar on Monday, they will travel to Brahmanigaon in Kandhamal, the place worst affected by the communal violence.

They will visit most of the areas affected by the communal strife and hold public hearings at Baliguda from May 13 to 15. During these hearings, a cross-section of the victims, including displaced villagers, will depose.

The tribunal is expected to return to Bhubaneswar via Phulbani, the headquarters of Kandhamal district, on May 16.

They would present the preliminary report before the media on May 17, said Pran Parichha, convener of the state unit of Indian Christian Council.

Kandhamal district had witnessed communal strife from December 24 to January 2.

Three persons were killed and hundreds of them lost their houses in the riot.

Places of worship also bore the brunt of the strife that threw the district completely out of gear and everything else in a state of disarray.