`NGOs spread discontent among communities in Kandhamal`
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Last Updated: Thursday, October 08, 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 claimed.

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 08, 2009, 18:43


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