Saraswati killing: Police had threat letter info after murder

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 19:14

Bhubaneswar: Orissa Police had no idea
about a threat letter to Laxamananda Saraswati before his
killing last year even though the VHP leader was provided
security on recommendation of a state security panel.

Though the Crime Branch of Police had been probing
the killing since a year, it had no information regarding the
"Pahari Group" which had allegedly issued the threatening
letter to the VHP leader two days before the killing.
While Saraswati and four of his associates were shot
dead at their Jalespeta ashram in Kandhamal on August 23, 2008
evening, one Pahari Group had given a letter on August 21,
2008 threatening dire consequences for the VHP leader.

"As far as I know, a letter was found from Pahari
Group that threatened Saraswati with dire consequences," chief
of Crime Branch and IGP Arun Kumar Ray told the Commission of
Inquiry during cross examination.

Ray and then IGP (Law and Order) Pradeep Kapoor were
today cross examined by the advocate at the Commission of
Inquiry headed by Justice S C Mohapatra.

"After the killing, the police headquarters, however,
received information regarding such a letter to Saraswati,"
Kapoor said during the cross-examination.

Saraswati was provided security according to
recommendation of the state level security committee.
Both the officers claimed that though they later came
to know that Maoists were involved in the Saraswati killing,
none had any knowledge about the Pahari Group or possible
threat from Maoists.

They too did not confirm whether the people arrested
in Saraswati kiling case, had any link with "Pahari Group".

Replying to a question on how the police concluded that
Maoists played a role in the kilings, Kapoor said, "A joint
report of Kandhamal Additional District Magistrate (ADM) and
the Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) indicated that
the crime was committed by Maoists".

"In addition to the kind of weapons used, nature of
injuries and the number of persons involved in the attack
raised suspicion about Maoist involvement in the Saraswati
murder case", Kapoor said.

The CB chief Ray said, " Investigation so far revealed that
Maoist and local militia who are sympathisers of Maoists
killer Saraswati".

"The culprits officially propagated through press
statements that Laxamanananda was killed as he was fanning
communalism in Kandhamal district," Ray said in his affidavit.

Replying to a question on possible involvement of
individuals, groups or organisation in Kandhamal district, he
said, "It was evident that there was increased activities of
CPI (Maoist) in Kandhamal district".

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 - 19:14

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