Wednesday, September 03, 2008

SC directs Orissa to submit report on Kandhamal by Thursday

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Orissa government to place by tomorrow its report relating to steps taken to protect lives of people belonging to the Christian community in riot-hit Kandhamal district.
The apex court also asked the state government to put on affidavit whether any permission was granted to VHP leader Praveen Togadia for his proposed Yatra carrying the ash of slain leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan posted the matter for further hearing for tomorrow.
In Orissa, life is limping back to normalcy where communal strife has claimed 16 lives, the police said on Wednesday.
Inspector General of Police Pradeep Kapur said that the worst-hit Kandhamal and Koraput districts had reported no breach of law and order on Tuesday and early Wednesday.
"But the possibility of fresh violence can never be ruled out. We are here to intervene promptly if such things happen," Kapur, camping in Kandhamal, said.
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.
The police said that Maoists were responsible for the killing. But blaming Christians for the murders, thousands of Hindus attacked Christian homes and churches. The violence left at least 16 people dead.
The government deployed police and paramilitary forces in 12 of Orissa's 30 districts. Curfew was imposed in Kandhamal and in a part of Koraput.