Bhubaneswar: The National Commission for
Minorities (NCM) Thursday said the situation in the communally sensitive Kandhamal district in Orissa is "very peaceful" and
rejected allegations that some of the 2008 riot victims are
still taking shelter in forests out of fear.
"I think nobody is staying in forest as alleged by some,"
NCM vice chairman H T Sangliana told reporters after a two-day
tour of Kandhamal, which witnessed large-scale violence in the
aftermath of the killing of VHP leader Laxamananda Saraswati
on August 23, 2008.
However, he said, "Some people are still living in
temporary shelter camps as their houses are not built for lack
"I will recommend to both the Centre and the state
government to increase the amount of compensation in order to
help the people re-build their houses damaged during riot,"
Though the state government had taken some steps, it
needed to do more to help the riot-hit people. While the
houses built with government assistance are not strong, those
constructed with the help of NGOs are better, he said.
Describing the violence in Kandhamal as a combination
of both ethnic and communal causes, he said the district
administration should ensure that no culprit goes scot free
due to lacuna in probe.
The problems in Kandhamal can easily be minimised if the
government creates educational and employment opportunities
for the people, he said.
To a question, the NCM vice chairman said both conversion
and re-conversion should come under the purview of the law.