July 8, 2009 7:07:23 pm
The Orissa government said on Wednesday that it has disbursed Rs 42.3 lakh as assistance for repair of church and prayer houses damaged during communal violence last year.
This was stated by Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro while replying to a question in the assembly.
Stating that 196 churches and prayer houses were damaged during riot in Kandhamal,Patro said six prayer halls were also vandalised in Bargarh district.
Communal violence broke out in Kandhamal and spread to other districts in the aftermath of VHP leader Laxmananada Saraswati’s killing in August 2008.
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Regarding assistance to a prayer hall at Tentuli Jharia under Talsara block in Kalahandi district,the minister said that the government was awaiting a report from the concerned collector before sanctioning repair assistance.
“The prayer halls in Bargarh were given Rs 10,000 each for repair work,” Patro said.
The government’s financial assistance to places of worship damaged during riot came a day after the Centre made public that it had disbursed Rs 1.05 crore to riot victims in Kandhamal.
This was for the first time in the history of Orissa that financial assistance was provided for repair and re-building of religious institutions,official sources said.
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