2 Christians hacked to death

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By OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 4.10.08
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Bhubaneswar, Oct. 3: Two Christian men were hacked to death in Kandhamal district’s Tumudibandh last night even as the Union cabinet expressed “grave concern” over the continuing violence.

Kandhamal superintendent of police S. Praveen Kumar said two persons — both converted tribals — had been killed in the clash in Tumudibandh, about 335km from Bhubaneswar, bordering Rayagada district.

Tumudibandh police station officers said a group of criminals armed with lathi, axes and guns attacked the house of Dusasan Majhi, a Christian, in Sindhipanka village under Mundigarh gram panchayat in the Tumudibandh police area last night. The mob hacked Dusasan, around 50 years old, and one of his relatives, Sanjay Majhi (21), to death.

The attack is suspected to be fallout of the arrest of one Rabi Patra about a couple of days ago at Tumudibandh. No arrest could be made so far regarding last night’s incident, the police said.

While the Union cabinet today expressed grave concern over the Kandhamal violence, chief minister Naveen Patnaik claimed his government had taken strong steps to bring the situation under control. Naveen said he was not aware of the cabinet’s decisions. “We will wait for intimation on the cabinet meeting,” he said.

“We have been taking strong steps to bring the situation under control. Besides, we have announced special package to redress the grievances of the people of Kandhamal,” said Naveen. Dubbing the outbreak of violence in Boudh district yesterday as “unfortunate”, he said two companies of paramilitary force had been sent to the district. Senior officers had also been deputed to control the situation.

The official toll in Kandhamal violence has reached 34. Most of the victims belonged to minority community, district officials said. So far, 371 persons have been arrested in 339 cases of arson and rioting.