Rediff News
All News
News APP

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp  » News » Orissa riot victims recall tales of horror

Orissa riot victims recall tales of horror

Source: PTI
August 30, 2008 16:54 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

More than 100 families, who had fled the riot-hit Kandhamal district, have reached Bhubaneswar after spending over three days in jungles.

Some of them, who managed to find an accommodation at the local YMCA, said they had initially fled to the jungle after their houses in Rupagaon village were torched by assailants who were protesting the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Laxmananda Saraswati.

Orissa remains tense; death toll rises to 14

After spending three days and three nights in hideouts, hunger and thirst forced them out. Afraid of returning to the village or to relief camps set up by the Orissa government, they decided to move to the capital city. Most of them walked to Daspalla in neighbouring Nayagarh district, a distance of about 40 km, before catching a bus to this city.

Indo-American Christians protest against Orissa violence at UN

While 37 families were lodged at the YMCA, others took refuge at their relatives' houses in the city, said Rabinda Pradhan, one of the villagers who lost a brother in the riot.

"The miscreants set fire to the entire village," they said. Narrating the ordeal with tears rolling down her cheeks, Gitanjali said her brother Rasananda was burnt to death in front of the terror-stricken family members.

Orissa violence: Centre favours CBI probe

"On the night of August 24, a day after Swamiji's killing, nearly 100 armed people came to our village and asked us to come out of the house. Though three of my brothers managed to ran away, Rasananda could not come out as he had a broken leg," she said.

 Her three brothers and four sisters-in-law have also taken shelter here. The tales of woe narrated by Bhagabati Pradhan, Basanti Pradhan, Jagabandhu Pradhan and others were similar.

Rights groups urge US, EU to end Orissa violence

All the attackers were locals and knew where the villagers were hiding, said Dambarudhar Pradhan.

"Therefore, we did not feel secure even in the jungles," he said, adding the victims would not be returning to Rupagaon unless peace was completely restored in the district.

Kandhamal returns to normalcy after week-long violence

Ajit Pradhan of Raikia, who too had fled to the jungle along with his family, is now camping at the government camp set up in the village. "I spent three days in the jungle. But I lost contact with my family members after entering the jungle and stayed back while others left for Bhubaneswar. I am waiting for my mother, wife and two kids," he said while expressing fear that they might have been killed or kept in captivity by the assailants.

Khurda district administration has deployed security personnel around the YMCA building in Bhubaneswar to instill confidence among the people.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: PTI© Copyright 2022 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.