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`NGOs spread discontent among communities in Kandhamal`

Last Updated: Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 18:43

Bhubaneswar: Certain NGOs and voluntary
organisations were spreading discontent among people in
Kandhamal district, the panel probing the killing of VHP
leader Laxamananda Saraswati was informed on Thursday.

"Discrimination by some Christian NGOs created
discontentment among the tribal Kandhas and Dalit Panas in
Kandhamal district," Sridhar Mohanta, the Investigating
Officer of the Saraswati killing case, told the Justice S C
Mohapatra Commission.
Mohanta, who was the sub-divisional police officer of
Baliguda during last year`s communal riot told the one-man
commission headed by Justice Mohapatra that "some
organisations were discriminating against non-Christians.

"The persons, who were converting into Christianity
were getting better facilities from Christian organisations
which were not available to those not converting," he said,
adding this created discontent among communities in Kandhamal.

Naming four NGOs, Mohanta pointed out that these
organisations were working for the development of the minority
community while others were denied facilities.

As the NGOs were engaged in providing education,
healthcare and other facilities to one selected community,
this caused heart burning among other communities in the same
locality, he said.
"Discontentment and long hostility manifested in
violence after the killing of Saraswati," Mohanta said, adding
"some Sangh Parivar organisations were also active in
Kandhamal, particularly after Saraswati established his
ashrams at Jalespeta and Chakapada in the district."

While NGOs like Jan Kalyan, World Vision, Asha Kiran
and Jagruti were working for development of Christian, Sangh
Parivar organisations like VHP and Bajrang Dal were active in
development of non-Christians like tribal Kandhas, Mohanta

Saraswati had set up ashram schools for the tribal
Kandha children.

One Kui Jana Kalyan Samiti was also working for the
Scheduled Caste people while Kui Samaj Coordination Committee
had role in organising the Kandha tribes, he pointed out.

On the threat perception, Mohanta in his affidavit
said "threat from minority community was there for which
security was provided to Saraswati".

To a question, Mohanta said though he was appointed as
the investigation officer in the case, he was not handed over
the threat letter to Saraswati which was received by the
Tumudibandha police station a day before his murder on August
23, 2008.

"When I handed over the Saraswati killing case to
Crime Branch on August 28, I could not give the threat letter
to it," he said.

Mohanta admitted that only four unarmed trainee sepoys
were present at the spot when Saraswati and four others
were attacked.

Bureau Report

First Published: Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 18:43
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