Saturday, March 21, 2009

Maoists, not Christians behind killing of RSS leaders: Orissa DGP


Bhubaneswar, March 20: The Orissa police today rejected the Sangh Parivar claim that Christians were behind the killing of RSS activists in the state and urged for peace in the communally sensitive Kandhamal and elsewhere in Orissa.

"Police have got specific indication of Naxal involvement in the killing of Pravat Panigrahi who was gunned down yesterday in Kandhamal," DGP Manmohan Praharaj said.

Asking the Sangh Parivar not to target a particular community for the crime, Praharaj said, "A number of senior Maoist leaders had earlier claimed responsibility of killing VHP leader Laxamananda Saraswati."

Pointing out that Naxals were not necessarily Christians, he said, "Ashutosh, Adzad and Sabyascachi Panda, the Maoists arrested for Saraswati's killing, are not Christians. So, it is not justified to come to a conclusion that Christians killed Saraswati."

He said police were not aware that Pravat Panigrahi was facing a threat to life.

"I request the persons facing threat to life to contact the police. We will certainly provide security to them," Praharaj said, asking political leaders to inform police regarding their tour in Maoist-infested areas.

He said Orissa required at least 50 more companies of central force for deployment during elections.

BJP demands CBI inquiry

Condemning the Orissa government for failing to maintain law and order in the state, the BJP on Friday demanded a CBI inquiry into the killing of right-wing activist Prabhat Panigrahi.

"BJP condemns Orissa government for its total failure to maintain law and order and pleading helplessness in front of Maoists. BJP demands CBI inquiry into the killing of Prabhat Panigrahi," party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar told reporter here.

Raising doubts on Panigrahi being killed by Naxalites, Javadekar said, "Even it is doubted whether the killers are Naxalite or Christians under the guise of Naxalites. Panigrahi was eliminated as he knew the conspiracy to kill Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati".

RSS leader Prabhat Panigrahi, who was arrested in connection with anti-Christian riots last year, was gunned down by suspected Maoists in Orissa's Kandhamal district on March 19.

The BJP pulled back its ministers and support to the state ministry after Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government snapped its 11-year old ties with the party after the seat-sharing talks between them failed.

Bureau Report

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