Orissa closes down another relief camp in Kandhamal
Bhubaneswar: Authorities in Orissa have closed down one more relief camp in Kandhamal district that saw communal riots last year, officials said on Monday.
"The relief camp at Tikabali village was shut down on Sunday and about 100 people, who were in the camp, returned to their respective homes," District Collector Krishan Kumar said.
Kandhamal district, about 200 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, witnessed widespread violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram August 23 last year.
More than 25,000 Christians were forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs, who held Christians responsible for Saraswati`s killing although police blamed Maoists for the crime. At least 37 people were killed, most of them Christians.
The administration had provided shelters to the riot victims, setting up 13 relief camps in the district.
"Eleven of them have now been closed down," Kumar said.
He said nearly 700 victims are, however, still taking shelter in two relief camps -- one at Mandakia and another in Tiangia village, though no violence has been reported in the region since October last year.
"Efforts are on to send the remaining people back to their homes soon," the official said.
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