A stray incident marred Christmas celebrations in Orissa's communally sensitive Kandhamal district when unidentified miscreants set afire the car of a missionary here tonight, police said.
The car of Baptist missionary Suranjan Nayak was set afire in district headquarter hospital premises but no injury to anyone was reported, Inspector In-charge of Phulbani town police station, S C Panda said.
Police force was rushed to the site soon after the incident and efforts were on to nab the culprits, he said adding Nayak, whose wife works as a nurse in the hospital, had gone to his native place in Raikia area of the district when the incident took place.
Barring this incident, believed to have been orchestrated by some mischief mongers, Christmas celebrations in the tribal dominated Kandhamal remained peaceful as people joined the revelry with joy and enthusiasm, police said.
Kandhamal had witnessed riots during Christmas festival in 2007 and after the killing of VHP leader Laxmanannda Saraswati in August, 2008.
Elaborate security arrangements had been made to prevent any untoward incident during Christmas this time.
After performing mid-night mass at different churches, Christians thronged their places of worship in colourful attires this morning as people belonging to all communities joined the celebrations showing a spirit of camaraderie and brotherhood.