Kalinga Times Correspondent
Kandhamal, Dec 25: Even as fear continued to dominate the locale in this riot-hit district of Odisha, more than 8000 riot-hit Christian men and women living in the government-run relief camps celebrated Christmas on Wednesday night.
Although the administration had announced that it would provide security to the people wanting go to the churches to attend the midnight mass, no one living in the relief camps ventured out as none of the churches and prayer houses in the riot-hit areas had been repaired till date.
The residents of the relief camps organised attended the midnight mass that they organised at their respective relief camps where they have been living since communal violence broke out following the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati on August 23.
The members of the Christian community, however, celebrated Christmas in some villages under Brahmanigaon and Tumudibandh areas where they were in majority. Interestingly, these areas have strong Maoist presence.
There was no Christmas celebration outside the relief camps in the areas that had witnessed large scale attacks on Christian families, their houses and churches.
There was virtually no Christmas celebration outside the relief camps in the hundreds of villages that had been hit by the communal violence that continued for several weeks starting from August 24.