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Orissa: Curfew clamped in Kandhamal again
September 25, 2008 13:50 IST
Additional forces were deployed and curfew clamped in sensitive areas of Orissa's Kandhamal district on Thursday in the wake of fresh violence and arson in the region.
Nearly 100 houses and a couple of churches and prayer houses were either set afire or damaged in about half-a-dozen places under Daringibadi, G Udaygiri and Tikabali police stations in the wee hours of Thursday morning, sources said.
In a bid to check further flare up, curfew was clamped in nine places of the district where 42 companies of security forces including Central Reserve Police Force and Rapid Action Force have been deployed since violence broke out after the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Laxmanananda Saraswati.
Over 30 houses and a church were burnt and damaged at Sikacheta village under Badapanga gram panchayat in Daringibadi area by an unruly mob, police said.
In a similar attack at Telenga village in G Udaygiri area, 20 houses were damaged, they said adding as many as 55 houses and a church were damaged at Beheragaon under Tikabali police station area.
Though additional forces were rushed to several sensitive areas to control the situation, movement of security personnel was badly affected due to obstructions like huge logs and boulders placed by miscreants on roads.
Road blockades took place at around 42 places in Tikabali and G Udaygiri areas, making it virtually impossible for security forces to proceed, according to Kandhamal district collector Krishan Kumar.
A mob of about 400 people chased an ex-serviceman into dense forest at Damiguda in Tikabali area after he allegedly threatened to take out his gun when the miscreants tried to set his house afire, police said.
Efforts were on to trace the ex-serviceman whose fate is yet to be ascertained, they said.
A private bus was set ablaze at Himangia in Sankarakhol area on Wednesday evening, sources said.
The situation turned worse as the telecommunication system virtually collapsed in the tribal dominated district since Tuesday.
Vital road links including the one between Berhampur and Phulbani were snapped due to blockade, while the process to clear the roads was delayed in view of unavailability of adequate personnel of Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force, sources said, adding that many of them had been engaged in flood relief.
As tension showed little sign of abatement in the sensitive district, senior officials including Director (intelligence) of the state police, Manmohan Praharaj was camping at the district headquarter town of Phulbani to monitor the situation.
Trouble had erupted on Tuesday after a brief gap when a mob had attacked the police station and security men at Raikia demanding release of some tribals held on rioting charge.
One person was killed when police opened fire to disperse the unruly mob, while 32 others, including security personnel were injured in the stone pelting by miscreants.
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