Phulbani (Orissa): The Justice Basudev
Panigrahi Commission probing the 2007 communal riots in
Orissa`s Kandhamal district today said many did not depose
before it as they were afraid of giving their statements.
Only five of the 20 people whose statements were to be
recorded at Daringbadi appeared during its 3-day hearing from
July 20 despite police protection, Justice Panigrahi who is
heading the one-man Commission said here.
Many people who submitted affidavits skipped the
recording of their statements out of fear, he said.
None of the six witnesses, who were to depose before
the Commission at Daringbadi on July 22, turned up.
As the Commission began its two-day hearing here
today, three persons including Lambodar Kanhar, secretary of
Kui Samaj Coordination Committee, a tribal body, appeared for
recording their statement.
Kanhar said the Kui Samaj was not involved in the
riots in December, 2007 and denied that its members felled
trees to block roads during the violence.
The Commission, which received 460 affidavits, has
recorded the statements of 67 people and submitted an interim
report about eight months ago, Justice Panigrahi said.
The riot had taken place in Kandhamal`s Brahmanigaon
and Barakhama after VHP leader Laxamananda Saraswati was
killed at Daringbadi area on August 23 last year.