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Last of relief camps for riot-affected closed in Kandhamal

September 04, 2009 19:12 IST

The last of the relief camps for the victims of last year's communal violence in Kandhamal was closed on Friday with the inmates having returned home.

The relief camp at Tiangia under 'G' Udayagiri block housing 500 people, was the last one to be closed on Friday, Kandhamal District Magistrate Krishna Kumar told PTI over the phone. Altogether 25,000 people were housed in over 15 relief camps during the violence in the aftermath of the killing of senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Swami Laxamananda Saraswati on August 23, 2008, Kumar said.

The people volunteered to return to their villages after they realised that there was no reason to fear, he said. The administration provided tents to the affected people for temporary shelter as they could not rebuild their houses during their stay in relief camps, he said. Besides tents, utensils, essential commodities and books for children were given to the people who returned home. Security arrangements have also been made for the people in sensitive areas though there was no tension now, Kumar said.

"There has been no violence in Kandhamal for last 10 months and central forces deployed were completely withdrawn by the end of August with the situation returning to normal," Kandhamal SP Praveen Kumar said. Of the 4,600 houses damaged during the riots, 1,981 houses had been rebuilt, while 4,435 families had received the first instalment of the house building assistance and 2,868 the second instalment, Special Officer for Kandhamal, M S Padhi, said. Of the total 196 institutions including churches and prayer houses, about 100 had received financial assistance for repairs till today, Padhi said. Over 40 people were killed in the riots.

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