Expressing serious concern over the communal violence in Orissa that claimed several lives, the Centre on Friday said it favoured a CBI probe into the incidents.
"We would have liked ideally that this matter be handed over to the CBI because those responsible should get justice immediately as judicial probe takes longer time," Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal told reporters when asked whether the Orissa violence came up for discussion at the meeting of the Union Cabinet.
He, however, said it was for the state government to recommend a probe by the Central investigating agency as the Centre could not do it on its own.
Describing the incidents as a matter of grave concern to the Centre, he said, "the Prime Minister, in fact, spoke to the Chief Minister and the Governor and assured the state government it would give whatever help needed to bring back normalcy".
Sibal said this kind of "senseless destruction by individuals belonging to a particular organisation shall not be tolerated".
Asserting that the Centre was committed to secularism, he said, "there shall be no dilution in that commitment."
He hoped that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik would take strong measures to bring back normalcy and ensure quick justice to the victims and rehabilitate them.
Sibal said it was "worrisome" that over 2,000 houses have been destroyed in the continuing violence.
Asked repeatedly whether Bajrang Dal would be banned as it activists were caught making bombs, he parried a direct reply saying it was a very serious situation and communal elements were responsible for it.