Saturday, December 29, 2007

Police presence keeps Gajapati calm

Statesman News Service
PARALAKHEMUNDI, Dec. 28: The communal tension that played havoc in the neighbouring Kandhamal district has failed to incite violence in any form in Gajapati much to the relief of the district administration.
Today, the road to Kandhamal district via Adava was cleared for traffic after the police and local labourers had put in hard work of the entire night yesterday. The road had been blocked by fallen trees alleged to have been felled by miscreants who wanted to slow down the police movement towards the Brahmanigaon village the centre of violence in the last four days.
According to the locals of Adava and Mohona, it is only the heavy police patrolling that is now discouraging the mischief makers from indulging in similar activities.
On the other hand, the police have to be extra careful as this entire stretch of road that leads to Kandhamal district is Naxal infested, and with the anniversary week of the Mandrabaj police firing starting from today, the CRPF and the armed police have been treading the routes cautiously using landmine detectors and anti-mine personnel to lead the way. Meanwhile Gajapati SP Mr Amitendra Nath Sinha who was injured in the mob violence yesterday at the Brahmanigaon was found to be out of danger.
On the other hand scribes had a field day with various persons handing out several versions which ultimately turned out to be false alarm.
Today there was violence in the Katigan and Gadarpur village in the Kandhamal district just across the Gajapati border, and again this led to more tension in the locality. But with police forces firmly entrenched in almost all sensitive areas there is less chance of the violence spreading to other parts of the district, but the locals say that the police have to be deployed for a minimum of 15 days to ensure that things do not go out of control.
The union minister for rural development Mr Chandra Sekhar Sahu who had come to Paralakhemundi to inaugurate the Gajapati Utsav has alleged that the state administration had failed miserably to tackle the situation. A prompt action by the district administration could have averted the untoward incidents, he said and demanded stringent action against the guilty.
“The union minister of state for home affairs, Mr Jaiswal has assured the state government that he will send para military forces as and when required, but the state administration has to deploy them diligently,” said Mr Sahu.

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