Sunday, October 12, 2008

One more killed in Kandhamal

One more person was found murdered in the strife-torn Raikia area on Saturday, the same day Orissa police arrested three more accused in the alleged gang-rape of a nun, taking the number of arrested in the crime to eight..

THERE SEEMS to be no end to communal violence in Kandhamal. On Saturday (October 11), a 75-year-old tribal was found murdered in the strife-torn Raikia area. He was identified as Krushna Pradhan.

The murder, however, coincided with the crime branch of Orissa police arresting three more accused in the alleged rape of a Catholic nun, taking the number of those nabbed in the August 25 incident to eight. The alleged victim remains elusive, though.

The latest murder, officials suspect, could have its genesis in the ongoing ethnic-communal discord in the district, but nothing had been ascertained till reports last came in.

"We don t know the murderer or the reason for murder. We are trying to verify the facts," a senior police officer said.

Raikia has witnessed more than 15 murders since violence broke out in the last week of August following the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati. Kandhamal had not reported any major violence during the past 10 days, but Saturday's development has come as a setback for the ongoing efforts to restore peace in the troubled zone.

On the other hand, total number of deaths in Kandhamal violence has reached 36 according to government reports. But in reality, the actual death toll might touch 100.

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