Bhubaneswar: Four companies of central paramilitary forces posted in Orissa\’s Kandhamal district following communal violence last year were withdrawn Wednesday, an official said. They were the last of the central forces posted there to keep the peace.
“The deployment date of the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) personnel was up to June 30. They have now been withdrawn,” Inspector General of Police Arun Sarangi told IANS, adding that an adequate number of state police personnel have replaced them.
At least 4,000 central security personnel were deployed in the district, about 200 km from here, in the aftermath of the communal violence that erupted following the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides Aug 23 last year.
At least 38 people were killed and over 25,000 Christians forced to flee after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs in the aftermath of the attack on Saraswati. Nearly 1,200 people are still living in three government relief camps.
No communal violence has been reported from the region since October last year. The central government had directed the state government earlier this year to initiate withdrawal of the paramilitary forces in phases.