Saraswati was target of rival community: Ex Orissa DGP

Last Updated: Sunday, September 27, 2009 - 22:06

Bhubaneswar: Slain VHP leader Swami
Laxamananda Saraswati, whose killing last year led to a large
scale violence in Kandhamal, had incurred the wrath of a
minority community since he had been opposing the role of
Christian missionaries and alleged conversion, said Orissa`s
former director general of police (DGP) G C Nanda.

"I have come across various reports from time to time
relating to the staunch pro-Hindu activities of Saraswati.
"As a result of this, he had become target of the ire of
the rival community since he had been opposing what he
perceived as the increasing impact of Christian missionaries
and alleged conversion in the area," Nanda said in his
affidavit before the commission of inquiry probing into the incident.

Nanda, who was the DGP when violence erupted in Kandhamal
after killing of Saraswati on August 23, 2008, claimed that he
did not have any information regarding specific threat to
Saraswati from Maoists.

He maintained: "I believe that Naxalites probably
expected to get cooperation of minority community in creating
a solid base in the district to expand their activities by
killing Saraswati."

This apart, Nanda observed that the "Naxalites possibly
wanted to prove their secular credentials by killing the Hindu
He also said: "They (Naxalites) were also crazy
for publicity following such incidents".

Stating that security arrangement for Saraswati had been
planned and was made based on the inputs available regarding
the threat from "rival community", Nanda reiterated that there
was no information available relating to threat from any armed
extremist groups including Naxalites.

"As per the reports available, the Naxalites did not
pose any threat to Saraswati and generally (they are) known to
keep away from religious issues. In fact, the incident came as
a surprise to all of us," he said.

The former DGP further said: "Following the incidents
of December 2007 (where there was an attack on Saraswati on
eve of Christmas), the SP of Kandhamal was advised by the
state police headquarters in January 2008 to provide adequate
security to Saraswati during his visits and stay."

Admitting that the security arrangement at Jalespeta
ashram where Saraswati was killed along with four others, was
not adequate from Naxals, the former DGP claimed that the
Kandhamal SP had provided more security than what had been
prescribed by the State Level Security Committee.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, September 27, 2009 - 22:06

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