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Orissa communal violence highly unfortunate: PM
New Delhi, Sep 3 (IANS):
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Published on 4 Sep. 2008 12:56 AM IST
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Terming the communal violence in Orissa as "highly unfortunate", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Wednesday said the central government was constantly monitoring the situation in the riot-hit state. In reply to a letter by Sister Nirmala, head of the Missionaries of Charity, Manmohan Singh said: "Your distress and anguish at the incidents that have taken place in Orissa recently are fully appreciated and understood. "The central government is deeply concerned at the situation. It is highly unfortunate that so much of violence has taken place. These incidents should never have happened. We have been constantly in touch with the state government. He added: "I have myself spoken to the chief minister (Naveen Patnaik). The centre has made available all the forces required by the state. The state has also been assured that the centre would be willing to render any other assistance that may be required." Communal violence erupted in Orissa after Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and four of his followers were killed by unidentified gunmen at his ashram in Kandhamal district Aug 23. The police said Maoists were responsible for the killing. But blaming Christians for the murders, thousands of Hindus attacked Christian homes and churches. The communal violence has claimed at least 16 lives. The prime minister said it has been "emphasised to the state authorities that every possible step must be taken to bring back normalcy, to provide protection to all communities and to bring the culprits to book". Singh added: "We are continuing to monitor the situation. I am announcing a package of assistance from the PM's National Relief Fund to the next of kin of those who have been killed and to those injured and those who have been rendered homeless. "I am separately asking the home minister to advise the state government to provide necessary protection to the houses and workers of the Missionaries of Charity." Ban RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal: LJP NEW DELHI, SEPT 2 (PTI): Strongly condemning the attack on Christians allegedly by Sangh Parivar activists in Orissa, LJP leader and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan today sought a ban on RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal. The Lok Janshakti Party will hold a demonstration here on September four protesting the violence in Orissa which was "shameful and dangerous for national integrity", Paswan told reporters here. To a question as to why he opposed ban on SIMI, while demanding such an action against the Sangh Parivar outfits, he said "my suggestion is to set up an independent inquiry commission that will analyse the activities of various organisations and recommend ban if they are involved in any anti-national work". The commission with social scientists and human rights activists as its member can study the role of various organisations in spreading terror and communal tension. "If SIMI has to be banned, then why not VHP, Bajrang Dal or RSS," Paswan, who had shared power with BJP till 2002, shot back, adding that until there were evidences of SIMI's involvement in terror acts, it should not be banned. On Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati declining to recommend CBI probe into the Kanpur blast incident in which two Bajrang Dal activists were killed, he said that it showed that the BSP supremo was going soft towards the BJP. Paswan, who had shared power with BJP till 2002, hit back the saffron party for condemning his suggestion to grant citizenship to Bangladeshis in India, saying that it had failed to identify them when it led a coalition at the Centre. (MORE) NHRC condemned for not probing violence.

 
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