New Delhi: The situation in Orissa`s
Kandhamal district, which was hit by communal riots 3 years
ago, has vastly changed and central forces have been
withdrawn from there, the Centre told the Supreme Court today.
"The situation has vastly changed," Solicitor General
Gopal Subramanium told the apex court which is monitoring the
situation in the district ever since it was affected by the
riots following the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda
Saraswati on August 23, 2007.
Senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for Orissa
government, said the authorities have complied with the orders
of the apex court relating to relief and rehabilitation and
compensation to the victims of the riots and the paramilitary
forces have left the place.
He said two fast track courts were set up to hold the
trial of the riot related cases and recently a sitting MLA was
convicted by one such court.
The senior advocate said the religious buildings damaged
during the riots have been repaired and compensation has been
awarded to the affected persons.
However, when some of the counsel complained that only
two instalments of compensation has been granted and the third
was yet to be given, a Bench headed by Chief Justice S H
Kapadia said it will hear the issues on the next date of
"We are not disposing of the petitions and we are
keeping them alive," the Bench, also comprising Justice K S
Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar, said.
The apex court has been monitoring the situation in
Kandhamal district on a petition filed by the Archbishop of
Cuttack, Raphael Cheenath, relating to violence there and in
other areas of the state where communal clashes had erupted
after the killing of Laxmanananda Saraswati on August 23,