Prafulla Das

BHUBANESWAR: More than five weeks after communal violence broke out in Orissa’s Kandhamal district, the administration on Monday successfully organised a meeting of people belonging to different communities to restore peace in the region.

The meeting, attended by representatives of Hindus, Christians, tribals and Scheduled Castes, decided to hold a district-level peace rally on Gandhi Jayanthi day.

Top officials of the government, including Secretary of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Development Department, Taradatt, and Kandhamal District Collector Krishan Kumar, attended the meeting. Representatives of various non-governmental organisations were also present.

It was decided that the district-level peace committee would meet at frequent intervals to ensure that peace and harmony returned in all parts of the strife-torn district.

The meeting also decided that a team comprising members from all communities would tour the areas which were witnessing more incidents of violence during the past few days and request the people to shun the path of violence.

The district administration held a peace committee meeting after the violence began in the wake of the killing of Swami Lakshmanananda on August 23. But no concrete decision could be taken then.

The district started limping back to normality with no incident of communal violence reported from any area during the day.

Educational institutions opened in the Raikia, Tikabali, G. Udaygiri and Sankarakhol areas after five weeks.

Cracker blast

As regards reports about a bomb explosion near a relief camp in the K. Nuagaon area of the district on Sunday evening, Kandhamal Superintendent of Police Praveen Kumar said it was a cracker blast and no one was injured in the incident.

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