Reported by Simanchal Pattanaik
Phulbani, Aug 23:
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today demanded a thorough and indepnedent investigation into the murder of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati who, along with four associates including a woman, were brutally killed by a group of unidentified armed assailants at his ashram at Jaleshpata of Tumidibandh block in Odisha’s Kandhamal district on August 23, 2008, exactly seven years ago.
Paying rich tributes to the slain leader on his eighth death anniversary at Gayatri temple premises in the district headquarters here, the VHP and Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) leaders called on the people to take a pledge to abide by the ideals of the departed leader.
“Saraswati had become the target of a specific community for his intense campaign on Hinduism and against cow-slaughter. Despite repeated death threats, he had continued his mission with determination. To impart education to the tribal boys and girls, he had set up a number of schools and trained them,” they added.
Condemning the failure of the state government in nabbing the prime accused involved in the brutal murder of Saraswati evn seven years after his assassination, the leaders demanded a thorough investigation by an independent investigating agency.
Stating that the people of Kandhamal district would always remember the pioneering work of Saraswati, they said the Swamiji would receive the genuine tribute the day the prime accused brought to book.
The murder of the VHP leader had triggered communal violence in the state that had claimed 38 lives and forced 25,000 Christians to flee from their homes.