Reported by Simanchal Pattnaik
Phulbani, Dec 19:
Despite the threat of a possible bandh call by the Kui Samaj Samanwaya Samiti (KSSS), the district administration is making all efforts to ensure a peaceful Christmas in Kandhamal this year, the collector of Kandhamal N. Thirumala Nayak told OST today.
As part of the effort, the administration had convened a ‘peace meeting’ of leaders representing various communities and eminent citizens at the DRDA hall here on Wednesday to discuss the ways and means of maintaining peace and tranquility across the district during Christmas celebrations.
Apart from the district collector N. Thirumala Nayak SP K.Vishal Singh and the chairperson of the Zilla Parishad Sushri Sanjukta Kanhar were also part of this initiative.
After the ‘peace meeting’ the president of the Christian Jan Kalyan Sangh Laxmikant Pradhan said the Christian community do not apprehend any trouble and expressed hope that they will be able to celebrate Christmas and New Year in full vigour.
Tirthanand Jani, leader of the Kui Samaj made it clear that while they will observe Kui Martyrs’ Day on December 25, they will desist from holding public rallies or enforce any ‘bandh’.
The only leader who was conspicuous by his absence in the meeting was the president of the Kui Samaj Samanwaya Samiti (KSSS) Lambodar Kanhar who has set December 20 as the deadline to meet their 34-point charter of demands failing which he may go for a Kandhamal Bandh on December 25.
However, sources in the administration told OST that appeals have been made to the KSSS leader to refrain from doing anything that could affect the joyful Christmas celebrations by the sizable Christian community in the district.
Even in 2008 when Kandhamal had witnessed a horrific communal riot, the Christian community had observed Christmas in the churches and rehab camps.