Forgetting the gory past of communal riots, inhabitants of Odisha’s Kandhamal district celebrated Christmas peacefully with carols, greetings and prayers on Tuesday.As a precautionary measure, security had been heightened throughout the district. According to police sources, apart from the regular force posted in the district, an extra 21 platoons of armed police force had been deployed for round-the-clock vigil. Mobile parties, static and striking forces of the police were maintaining law and order. Patrolling had been intensified in Maoist-prone areas.Till Monday evening, no untoward incident was reported from the district. Tribal organisation Kui Samaj Samanwaya Samity observed its annual martyr’s day at Barkhama to remember Khageswar Mallik, who was killed on December 25, 2007, during the communal riots.Midnight mass was held at the specially-decorated churches. Kandhamal has a sizeable Christian population.