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Orissa: Man killed during VHP bandh; curfew imposed
December 25, 2007 21:13 IST
Last Updated: December 25, 2007 22:17 IST
Curfew was clamped in four major towns of Orissa's Kandhamala district on Tuesday after one person was killed and at least 24 others injured during a VHP-sponsored bandh. The meeting was called to protest the alleged attack on an anti-conversion leader.
"Following large-scale violence, we have imposed curfew in the district headquarters town of Phulbani, Baliguda, Daringibadi and Brahmanigaon to prevent further flare up", said Revenue Divisional Commissioner (southern division) Satyabrata Sahu.
Expressing concern over the violence on Christmas day, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik appealed to the people to maintain peace and communal harmony.
A youth was killed in mob violence at Barakhamba, a senior police officer said, adding that he was yet to be identified. The details of the incident are not known yet.
"The situation is tense but under control. We are keeping a close watch," the official said.
At least six churches were set on fire in Orissa's Kandhamal district, in a backlash to the attack on an anti-conversion movement leader on Monday.
Six churches, mostly built in thatched houses, were either ransacked or the vacant premises set on fire since last night as tension built up in the area, Revenue Divisional Commissioner Satyabrata Sahu told PTI.
Unconfirmed reports said 12 churches were targeted by vandals since last night, and additional forces deployed in sensitive pockets of the district. Of the total 6.50 lakh Population in the district, more than one lakh belong to the Christian community.
The violence, which began at Brahmanigaon village under Daringbadi area on Monday, gradually spread to other parts of the district with unidentified persons attacking two houses of state's Steel and Mines minister Padmanabha Behera at Phiringia and Nuapadar villages.
While three churches were set on fire at Baliguda last night, three others were burnt today at different villages under Nuagaon block, official sources said.
Similarly, churches at Chakapada, Giringia and Phiringia were also ransacked and then set on fire, sources said.