Monday, September 15, 2008

CBI probe sought into Kandhamal violence

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) has demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into the killing of Swami Lakshmanananda and the subsequent communal riots in Kandhamal district of Orissa.

The NFIW team, led by its general secretary Annie Raja, visited the riot-torn district from September 9 to 12. In a statement issued here on her return from Kandhamal, the NFIW said a judicial inquiry was inadequate.

The situation in the district was tense and the sense of security was absent among the Christian minority community.

The condition of the relief camps was pathetic and around 20,000 people were living in these camps with inadequate medical facilities. Even camps with more than 700 children and around 30 pregnant women did not have a paediatrician or a gynaecologist, Ms. Raja said.

Real situation

The visiting team found that the real situation in Kandhamal district did not match the statements made by the Central and State governments before the Supreme Court.

Demanding that women’s organisations and civil society organisations be allowed to participate in the relief operations, the NFIW said rehabilitation work should be taken up on a war footing. Proper medical facilities should be provided at these camps, with special arrangements for children to write the Class X and XII examinations.