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Tight security in Kandhamal for VHP leader`s death anniversary

Last Updated: Thursday, August 13, 2009 - 08:43

Phulbani: Over 2,000 security personnel have been deployed in riot-scarred Kandhamal on the eve of the first death anniversary of VHP leader Laxamananda Saraswati on Thursday whose killing had sparked a communal frenzy in the Maoist-infested Orissa district last year.
Sangh Parivar outfits like the VHP and RSS have decided to observe it as `Sacrifice Day`. "Religious functions were being organised at two ashrams at Jalespeta and Chakapada on the occasion," VHP state secretary Gouri Kumar Rath said, adding the programmes will be peaceful.

Director General of Police (DGP) Manmohan Praharaj, who along with senior police officers reviewed situation in the communally-fragile Kandhamal, told reporters that as many as 52 platoons (30 personnel) of security personnel were deployed across the district.

Besides one company of CRPF jawans, nine platoons of personnel belonging to Orissa Special Striking Force (OSSF) comprising ex-army men and an equal number of jawans of India Reserve Battalion (IRB), 18 platoons of special police officers (SPOs) and jawans of Orissa Special Armed Police (OSAP) were also deployed.

"Nine units of ODRAF (Orissa disaster rapid action force) members were also deployed in Kandhamal for clearing road blockades if the miscreants fell trees on road," the DGP said.

The VHP leader and four others were gunned down allegedly by Maoists on Janmastami last year sparking widespread communal violence in Kandhamal and other parts of Orissa.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, August 13, 2009 - 08:43

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