Justice Naidu panel to submit report on riots in Odisha’s Kandhamal in six months

Reported by Simanchal Pattanaik

Phulbani, Feb 15:

Justice AS Naidu, who heads the one-man Commission of Inquiry probing into the communal riot in Odisha’s Kandhamal district in 2008, today said the Commission would submit its report within the next six months.

Pic: Simanchal Pattanaik
Pic: Simanchal Pattanaik

Replying to a question from reporters here after returning from a visit to Rupa village and the Chakapada ashram in connection with the riots on Christmas Day in 2007, Justice Naidu wondered as to why there is so much desperation about the report on the 2008 riots when the report on the 2007 riot (being probed by Justice Basudev Panigrahi Commission of Inquiry) in the district yet to be submitted.

“To prepare a report on the Kandhamal riot, one has to study the communal history of the district in the last 14 years. It will take at least six months for the commission to prepare the report,” he added.

Justice Naidu conceded that the changed statement of Maoist leaders Sabyasachi Panda and Azad relating to the murder of Swami Laxmanananda had posed some problems for the Commission in coming to a conclusion.

The Commission, on the penultimate day of its visit, visited the Chakapada Ashram where VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati was murdered on August 23, 2008, and discussed its management with the inmates.

Justice Naidu said the Commission had so far recorded the statements of about 75-80 percent of witnesses in connection with communal riot in the district.

The Commission would wind up its visit tomorrow.

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