Three people were killed and a senior police officer injured in fresh violence in Orissa's Kandhamal district on Thursday.
The tribal-dominated south-central district in Orissa has seen a series of church attacks since Christmas eve, inviting criticism from Christian organisations.
In one incident on Thursday, the police opened fire after miscreants attacked a police station in Bamunigam town. Three persons were killed in the police firing, police sources said. Gajapati SP A.N. Sinha is believed to be injured.
In other incidents of violence, a church was damaged at Sankharakhol village while the Sugadabadi panchayat office under Raikia block was set on fire.
Frequent rumours are causing panic among residents of the district where communication links in several areas have not been restored.
Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited the town of Phulbani to review the law and order situation. Wrapping up his visit to the district headquarters of Kandhamal district, he said the situation was being “normalised to a great extent”.
“Peace committees have been formed and they are doing their work. Grievances of people will be looked into. I had a thorough review with DGP, IGP, DIG and the revenue divisional commissioner,” he said.
The CM stated that so far only one person has died. “Two dozens of people have been arrested. Action is being taken against the culprits,” Pattnaik said.
The Centre has rushed three companies of the CRPF (more than 300 personnel) to the state for maintaining law and order situation.
The National Commission for Minorities has sought a report from the state government on the church attacks.