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BJP asks Orissa govt to lay Kandhamal riot report in assembly

Source: PTI
July 08, 2009 01:14 IST
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The Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday demanded tabling of the interim report of the judicial commission on Kandhamal violence in Orissa assembly even as the Christian community said there was no need of such a report at this stage.

The issue relating to the interim report of Justice S C Mohapatra judicial commission was raised by BJP member Jaynarayan Mishra in the assembly during zero hour.

"As we (MLAs) were unable to know details of the interim report, the government should lay it in the House," Mishra said adding that since the House is on session, it was duty of the state government to table the report.

Justice Mohapatra, a retired high court justice, had submitted an interim report on the violence on July 1, after nine months of formation of the judicial commission.

The commission was constituted on September 3, 2008 after riot broke out in Kandhamal on August 24, 2008, a day after killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Laxamananda Saraswati.

Besides killing of 43 people, a large number of families become homeless as their houses were either burnt or damaged during the riot.

Scores of churches and prayer houses were also damaged in the violence.

Meanwhile, the Christian community said there was no need of submitting an interim report on the violence as the state government had not asked for it.

"Justice Mohapatra had given remarks on other matters without touching the subject for which the commission was set up," Cuttack-Bhubaneswar Archbishop Rapheal Cheenath told PTI claiming that conversion was not "at all" a factor behind Kandhamal violence as Justice Mohapatra had been reported having said in the interim report.

Justice Mohapatra had reportedly identified three factors including conversion and re-conversion responsible for the large scale violence.

Two other factors were - tribal land and fake tribal certificate issues.

The Archbishop said the commission should submit its full report instead of submitting interim report.

"He should concentrate on the term of reference given to him," he said. Claiming that changing religion was a fundamental right of a citizen, Cheenath said they were opposed to the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act.

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