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Orissa: VHP men damage churches, prayer hall

Source: PTI
Last updated on: August 25, 2008 14:23 IST
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Processionists accompanying the body of slain VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati on Monday defied curfew and damaged two churches, prayer houses and over 10 vehicles in Orissa's communally-sensitive Kandhamal district.

"A large number of supporters of Laxmanananda entered the district headquarter town of Phulbani in violation of curfew restrictions on their way to Chakapada and targeted churches and houses," Kandhamal District Collector Krishan Kumar said.

Two police personnel suffered injuries when they tried to prevent the processionists from attacking churches, he said adding that prayer halls, some police outposts, vehicles and

houses were damaged on the route of the procession which passed through the 70-km stretch from Tumudibandh.

Eyewitnesses said the Baptist Church and pastors' house were damaged, while Roman Catholic Church was targetted at the Phulbani where three other houses were also attacked and some vehicles set afire.

Police sources said the protesters tried to attack the District Collector and damaged his vehicle.

A police outpost was attacked at Nuagaon and another at a nearby area, while nine shops and two vehicles torched at Raikia, they said adding that two jeeps were burnt at Udayagiri.

Sources said a house was torched at Nuagaon near Pasara outpost in Chakapada area by miscreants with a paralytic man stranded inside it, but police is yet to confirm the incident.

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