Berhampur: Justice Basudev Panigrahi commission probing the communal riots in Kandhamal district of 2007 has sought one more year of his tenure to submit the inquiry report.
The tenure of the commission will end on Saturday.
"We have written to the government to extend the tenure of commission for one more year. The extension is required as around 80 more witnesses in the incident will be examined. We hope the government will extend the tenure to complete the inquiry", said Justice Panigrahi who was here to conduct two-day camp court.
Justice Panigrahi, a retired high court judge, was appointed by the state government for the enquiry into the communal riots which had erupted on December 24, 2007 in Kandhamal district.
The government notification of appointment of the commission was issued in January 2008. The government has extended the tenure of the commission up to February 28, 2015.
The commission had submitted its interim report to the government in April 2008. "We hope the final inquiry report will be ready by March next year after recording the statements of other witnesses," he said.
The statements of around 445 persons, including 40 government officials have already been recorded by the commission so far. As many as 535 persons had filed affidavits before the commission in the incidents, a commission official said.
"The commission has been conducting camp courts regularly in different places of the state to facilitate witnesses and also conducted the hearings", he said.
The inquiry by the retired judge was ordered by the government after a spate of communal violence in the district from December 24, 2007 on the eve of the Christmas celebration, which had claimed lives of three persons, one at Bramhanigaon and two at Barkhama. Several houses and religious places were destroyed in the riots.