Commission summons ex-minister, ex-DGPs

Published: 22nd October 2012 10:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd October 2012 10:05 AM   |  A+A-

The Justice AS Naidu Commission probing the 2008 Kandhamal riots has issued fresh notices to 55 people, including a former minister, two former DGPs and a former Home Secretary, asking them to appear before it.

Apart from former DGPs Gopal Nanda and Manmohan Praharaj and the then home secretary T K Mishra, summons have also been issued to former Rajya Sabha member Radhakanta Nayak and former Kandhamal MP Nakul Nayak along with Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal.

Former minister Padmanabha Behera, former Archbishop Raphael Cheenath, Christian leader John Dayal and former SP of sensitive Kandhamal district Nikhil Kanodia have also been asked to appear before the one-man inquiry commission.

Justice A S Naidu took over the judicial probe on October 1 into the killing of VHP leader Laxamanananda Saraswati and the riots that followed in the tribal-dominated Kandhamal district and some other places in 2008.

Justice Naidu, a retired Orissa High Court judge, was named by the State Government as the one-man judicial commission of the Kandhamal case after the demise of Justice Sarat Chandra Mohapatra, four months ago.

The Government had set up the judicial commission on September 3, 2008 following the killing of Saraswati on August 23, 2008. At least 38 people were killed in Kandhamal alone while the total death roll in the communal riots in the aftermath of Saraswati’s death was 42. About 4,000 houses, besides some churches, were burnt during the riot.

While a girl was burnt alive in Bargarh district during the riot, a nun was allegedly raped by mob at Baliguda in the district. Of the 706 affidavits filed before the commission in connection with the riot, only 164 have so far been accepted while others are being examined.

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