Berhampur, Dec 22 (LocalWire) The Kandhamal district administration on Saturday appealed to public to maintain peace and harmony during Christmas celebrations on Dec 25.
“We appealed to all sections of the society to ensure peaceful celebration of Christmas on December 25 in the district and they have agreed,” said collector Brundha D.
Ahead of Christmas, the district administration hold a coordination committee meeting with all communities, including religious leaders and tribal outfits, and police officials at Phulbani on Friday.
She has also directed field level officials to keep vigil on the situation in their respective areas ahead of the festival.
“Action will be initiated to trouble-makers who will try to disrupt law and order situation in the district,” she said.
The police will deploy at least 30 platoons of forces across the district and senior officers will camp at communally-sensitive areas on the eve of the Christmas, said Superintendent of Police (SP) (Kandhamal) Prateek Singh.
He said patrolling would be intensified from Sunday (Dec 23).
Striking forces will also be engaged in the sensitive areas of the district, he said.
The assessment is on to identify sensitive areas in the district, police said.
Having a sizable Christian population, Kandhamal witnessed widespread communal and ethnic violence in the aftermath of the killing of senior Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and his four disciples on August 23.
At least 38 persons were killed, while several hundred houses and religious structures were destroyed in the violence.
Earlier, tribal leader Khageswar Mallick was killed at Barkhama village under Baliguda police station limit on December 25, 2007 during the riots.
Meanwhile, the churches and prayer houses in the district have already been decorated with lights and fancy stars ahead of Christmas.
Practice of carols by boys and girls is also going on in full swing at different churches as a part of pre-Christmas celebrations.
The traditional carol singing starts on Christmas eve (Dec 24), to announce the birth of Jesus Christ.