PHULBANI(Orissa): In a bid to restore normalcy in Orissa's riot-hit Kandhamal district, Congress on Sunday took out a peace rally here.
A large number of Congress workers, including several prominent leaders, marched through the main roads of the town to spread the message of harmony among the people in the strife-torn district.
As the rally passed through the town, a large number of local residents belonging to different sections of society and communities joined the march seeking restoration of peace in the district, which had been witnessing violence since the killing of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati on August 23.
They went around the town carrying placards and banners with messages for peace and harmony, as a 'rath' moved along amidst recitation of 'Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram'.
March for peace in Orissa's riot hit Kandhamal
October 12th, 2008 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS -
Bhubaneswar, Oct 12 (IANS) A peace rally was held Sunday in Orissa's riot hit Kandhamal district where communal violence in the past six weeks left at least 36 people dead and thousands, mostly Christians, homeless.People, including women, marched on the streets of Phulbani town, the district headquarter of Kandhamal, some 200 km from here, shouting slogans and holding placards and banners seeking peace in the region.
The march was organised by the opposition Congress party.
"We appealed people to maintain peace and brotherhood, the way they were staying united peacefully since decades," a senior state Congress leader who participated in the rally told IANS over phone.
Prominent among those who participated in the peace march were state congress president Jayadev Jena and senior congress legislator Tara Prasad Bahinipati.
Earlier Friday and Saturday, the leaders of Left parties, Nationalist Congress party, Samrudha Odissa and other opposition parties separately held peace marches in Kandhamal.
Kandhamal has been witnessing communal violence since Aug 23 following the murder of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and four others at his ashram.
Officials said no major incident of violence was reported from any part of the district in the past 11 days although the body of an old man was found Saturday in a field under Raikia police station area.
The body had injury marks but police are not sure if the killing was related to the communal violence.
Talks with non-Cong, non-communal parties for alliances on:CPM
Kolkata, Oct 12 (PTI) The CPI(M) today said that talks were on with non-Congress and non-communal parties for formation of alliances for the next Lok Sabha elections. "Talks are on with non-Congress and non-communal parties for striking alliances for the next Lok Sabha poll. But it is difficult to say at this stage with which party such alliance can be formed. We are trying to find out parties in different states with whom we can work," CPI(M) politburo member Sitaram Yechuri told reporters here. He said that the "failure" of the Congress in fighting communalism has called for the need to build a non-Congress secular alternative. To a question, he said, "our struggle against communal forces was non-compromising which will continue to remain our primary task." Yechuri said that for the past seven weeks, violence was going on at Kandhamal in Orissa but only now the government was convening the meeting of National Integration Council, which will be attended tomorrow by him also. Asked if his party was in support of the imposition of Article 356 in Orissa in view of Kandhamal violence, Yechuri said that the demand for article 356 was not the answer. "What are the steps the government has taken so far? We continue to oppose the misuse of article 356. We have been demanding that the articles 355 and 356 should be suitably amended. Even if the situation warrants article 356, the government has to tell us what is the situation," he said. PTI
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