Violence in urban areas of Orissa's riot-torn Kandhamal district subsided on Friday but stray incidents took place in remote and rural areas and curfew was relaxed for ten hours amidst heightened security.
Some houses were torched in Menia gram panchayat early in the morning while several houses damaged by miscreants in Phiringia, K Nuagaon, Daringibadi and Sarangagarh areas, police said.
Reports of arson were received from rural pockets of Raikia and G Udaygiri though urban centres remained by and large incident-free.
Meanwhile, the toll in violence triggered by the killing of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati rose to 12 in the state with the recovery of two bodies, believed to be of victims of earlier violence, a senior official said.
As many as 1,000 families in over 200 villages of the communally sensitive district have been affected by the violence since the killing of Saraswati, Revenue Divisional Commissioner, southern division, Satyabrata Sahu said.
Following improvement in the situation, curfew was relaxed from 8 am to 6 pm to enable people to attend to daily chores and procure essential items, a senior official said.
The district remained out of bounds to most people to prevent unwanted elements from entering troubled areas while 24 platoons of CRPF, 12 platoons of Rapid Action Force and 30 platoons of Orissa State Armed Police were deployed in sensitive areas.
In addition, jawans of the elite greyhound force of Andhra Pradesh and Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force (odraf) were also deployed, sources said.