BHUBANESWAR/PHULBANI: Police launched a massive crackdown on the trouble-makers in Kandhamal by arresting 48 persons, including some Sangh Parivar activists. Meanwhile, additional para-military force was rushed to the riot-hit district where the police have adopted a tough posture against the Sangh Parivar activists after the new Director-General of Police (DGP) took charge. Curfew was relaxed from 8 am to 5 pm in all the nine police station areas. Official sources said that 10 more companies of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) arrived in Kandhamal in phases for deployment in sensitive areas. With this, as many as 46 companies of para-military force are engaged in fighting violence. DGP Manmohan Praharaj, who is camping in Kandhamal, took stock of the situation at a meeting and visited G Udaygiri and Raikia, which witnessed violence recently. Praharaj told mediapersons that persons irrespective of their religion will be booked if found involved or instigating violence. With the arrest of 48 persons since Tuesday, the total number of arrests in Kandhamal district has gone up to 337. After the direction from the administration regarding the surrender of guns and licences, till today, only 95 persons out of 505 from nine police station limits have deposited their guns and licences. Meanwhile, members of the District Bar Association, Phulbani, have given a seven-point charter demands to the district administration which included non-clamping of curfew in Phulbani town, shifting of relief camps which were functioning in various educational institutions of the district, arrest of the culprits involved in the killing of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati and his associates, restoration of communication to the interior areas of the district and non-arrest of innocent people. Meanwhile, BJP, a partner of the ruling coalition, strongly opposed the arrest of some of its workers and functionaries on charges of rioting and arson. Among the arrested was BJP's Kandhamal district unit general secretary Bhagaban Mohanty. BJP is likely to take up the matter with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
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