Kandhamal riot panel asks witnesses to be fearless

Phulbani: The one-man Commission probing the communal riot of 2008 in Kandhamal has asked the witnesses to depose before it without any fear.

Chairman of the judicial commission Justice A S Naidu said this while expressing displeasure over the statement of the witnesses during the three-day camp which ended yesterday.

Of the total 14 deponents posted for three days of hearing, 12 deponents were examined in the camp court.

Justice Naidu gave this remark over the ignorance of contents of the affidavits filed by them earlier.

He said, “One should always be very particular and careful about what are stated before the commission through the affidavit…, you should not be afraid of the commission in any way”.

Of the total 816 affidavit received by the commission from Kandhamal and other districts, 272 have already been disposed. After a careful scrutiny and review as many as 500 affidavits were rejected by the commission, Bijaya Krishna Patnaik, the Special Counsel of the Commission, said.

68 deponents will be examined soon including 30 deponents under section 8 (B), Patnaik said.

The state government had set up a judicial commission to probe into the origin of the large scale communal violence in which 38 persons were killed and hundreds of houses burnt in Kandhamal in 2008.