Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Atleast 80 Houses Torched Since Yesterday

Orissa Still Burning: 80 More Houses Burnt Since Yesterday Afternoon

Situation Remains Tense in Kandhamal

PTI reports September 2, 2008:
At least 80 houses were torched in sporadic violence in Orissa's riot-hit Kandhamal district even as the state government suspended day curfew and beefed up relief and rehabilitation operations.

A high-level team of officials, including Home Secretary T K Mishra and Director General of Police Gopal Chandra Nanda, visited the district to review the situation and assess the extent of damage, official sources said today.

The visit was to work out strategies for containing arson and violence in the communally-sensitive district as well as stepping up relief and rehabilitation operations for the affected people, they said.

At least 80 houses were torched in fresh arson in several villages of Tikabali and Sarangada areas since yesterday afternoon, the sources said.

Describing force scarcity as a big handicap in containing arson, IGP (Intelligence) R P Singh said only 2,500 personnel from various forces including CRPF were available to combat violence in villages across the district.

"As the arson continues to trouble rural pockets, there is only one jawan (i.e., soldier) to tackle the situation in every village," a senior police officer said.

Several women were also seen indulging in arson at some places
, Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), southern division, Satyabrata Sahu said, adding more measures were being taken to tackle the situation.

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