Ashwin Shuddha Saptami
Bhubaneshwar : The Maoists in Orissa have claimed that they killed senior VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda in August, 2008. This killing led to widespread communal violence and attacks on Christians in Orissa.
The chief of the CPI Maoists’ Orissa unit Sabyasachi Panda told NDTV Reporter that they had left two letters on the spot after the killing the Swami but the government deliberately did not make them public.
He accused the Orissa government of creating an impression that Christians were responsible for the Hindutva leader’s murder.
NDTV Reoporter: Why did you kill Swami Lakshmanananda?
Panda: We ordered death penalty for Swami Lakshmanananda because he was the main member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. They used non-tribal traders’ money to build Bajrang Dal and ran a campaign against Christians. They falsely accused Christians of killing cows and of conversions. This forced us to attack him. We left two letters claiming responsibility for the murders. But the Patnaik government suppressed those letters. It is a BJP government, they will support VHP. The state government made it look like Christian groups are responsible for the attack. Christian community in Orissa does not have any Maoist organisation supporting them here.
NDTV Reoporter: Do you have a message for the chief minister? Is he on your hit list?
Panda: No, he’s not on our hit list. But he is working as the operational chief of the BJP in the state, he is responsible for the ongoing rioting. He should quit, as he is not capable of handling his post
NDTV Reoporter: Despite your repeated claims, why has the Sangh Parivar refused to accept that you killed the Swami?
Panda: They had planned to carry out the riots anyway. Our actions gave them the excuse. So now they cannot admit that we killed the Swami. If they do, they will have no excuse to attack the people. Why attack us?
But the Orissa police are saying that the Maoists’ claim is incorrect.
"We’ve information on Swami’s murder, but can’t share it with the media. We go by what investigations reveal about Swami’s murder, not speculation", said T K Mishra, Home Secretary, Orissa.
Meanwhile, on Sunday, Mishra said that the nun who was raped during the mob violence should cooperate with them.
This after the police took more than a month to collect the medical report confirming her rape. On Saturday, the nun had told NDTV that so far the police had made no attempt to get in touch with her.