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Orissa violence: Christian group demands CBI probe
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December 30, 2007 18:47 IST

Holding both the Centre and the Orissa government responsible for the communal violence in Kandhamal, a leading Christian group on Sunday demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation, immediate rehabilitation and compensation to victims and a long-term economic package for the backward district.

"We are not happy with the judicial inquiry ordered by the Orissa government. Since both Central and state governments failed to check the spread of arson in Kandhamal, there must be a CBI probe," said Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians.

Observing that Christians in riot-hit areas of Kandhamal were denied the right to worship on Christmas due to widespread violence and attack on places of worship, he said while the Centre failed in timely dispatch and deployment of forces, the state machinery failed to deal with the situation.

Claiming that the injured and others had taken shelter in forests due to fear, George said the state government should pay at least Rs five lakh ex-gratia to the next of kin of those killed and adequate compensation to those injured.

Seeking immediate rehabilitation of those rendered shelter-less due to large-scale violence in the tribal dominated district, he said houses and places of worship damaged in arson should be reconstructed on a war footing.

The government should also chalk out a long-term economic package to ensure speedy, balanced and equitable economic development of Kandhamal district, besides setting up camps and providing relief to those affected by violence, he said.

If normalcy is not restored, the Centre should declare Kandhamal district as riot-affected and deploy army for the safety of Christians, he said.

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