Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Christian militants involved in Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati's murder

The police have arrested Pradesh Kumar Das, an employee of the World Vision, a Christian Charity, from Khadagpur while escaping from the district at Buguda. In another drive, two other persons Vikram Digal and William Digal have been arrested from the house of Lal Digal, a local militant Christian, from Nuasahi at Gunjibadi, Nuagaan. They have admitted to having joined a group of 28 other assailants.
Orissa bandh today; schools, colleges to remain closed
Naveen announces judicial probe, ex-gratia

Widespread anger was expressed throughout the State over the brutal killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his associates.

The VHP and Bajrang Dal activists burned tyres and blocked traffic in different parts of the State to ventilate their anger on the failure of the police to give protection to Swamji. He had lodged an FIR on the local police station that his life was under threat and had sought police protection. Within 26 hours of lodging the complaint, he and his disciples were killed at Jalespata Ashram under Tumudibandh block
in Kandhamal district on Saturday night.

Fearing a backlash, the Kandhamal district administration clamped curfew in Phulbani town and prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC throughout the district. All borders of the district were sealed.

However, defying the orders, disciples of the Swami took out the Swami's funeral procession to another ashram at Chakapada, which is nearly 100 km away from Jalespata Ashram. More than 10,000 mourners reportedly accompanied the funeral procession. The funeral procession went through Jalespata, Tumudibandh, Paramapanka, Baataguda and reached Baliguda at 3 pm. It was supposed to go through Nuaagaan, Sarangagada, Phiringia, Bisipada Chhak and Tikabali to reach his Karmabhumi Chakapada late in night.

The people bid farewell to the departed souls with tears. People in Baliguda could not control their emotions and they even attacked the police and burnt a number of vehicles. Police had to resort to a mild lathi-charge to disperse the crowd. Reports reaching Bhubaneswar said the people were dead against the police inaction.

VHP activists allegedly burnt down a Marshal jeep OR 07 G 5882 carrying Sisters at G Udayagiri. The Sisters were allowed to leave the vehicle, said sources. Similarly, hundreds of supporters of Swamiji were moving to Tumudibandh with agitated mood, where his body was kept
for last darshan.

In order to save its face, the district administration suspended the officer-in-charge of the Tumudibandh Police Station. However, it did not calm the anger of local people. They demanded that action should be taken against the District Collector and the SP. "Swamji had himself lodged the FIR. But the district administration could not react promptly to protect the precious lives," said Sudarshan Bhoi, a local of Tumudibandh area.

Reacting over the issue, the VHP and the Bajrang Dal have called for a dawn-to-dusk Orissa bandh. The BJP State unit has announced to support the bandh. In a bid to avoid further violence, the Government has ordered closure of all schools and colleges on Monday.

In order to take stock of the situation, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday morning convened a high-level meeting at the State Secretariat. "All efforts would be made to arrest the culprit," he said, adding that additional police force has been mobilised and combing operation is on to nab the culprit. Police sources said 20 platoons of police force and four companies of CRPF have been mobilised to the spot.

Patnaik also ordered a judicial probe into the incident and announced that Rs 2 lakh ex-gratia would be given to the next of kin of the deceased.

The situation in the tribal dominated Kandhamal district "is tense but under control" after the killing of the VHP activists last night by unidentified attackers, Kandhamal District Collector Krishan Kumar claimed.

Meanwhile, a small thatched structure used as a prayer house was set afire by unidentified persons late on Saturday night at Tentulijhari in Sundargarh district, Inspector General of Police (Western Range) Pranabindu Acharya said.

The police have arrested Pradesh Kumar Das, an employee of the World Vision, a Christian Charity, from Khadagpur while escaping from the district at Buguda. In another drive, two other persons Vikram Digal and William Digal have been arrested from the house of Lal Digal, a local militant Christian, from Nuasahi at Gunjibadi, Nuagaan. They have admitted to having joined a group of 28 other assailants.

Congressman conspired Swami Saraswati's murder: BJP

Lucknow, Aug 25 : Condemning the brutal murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmananand Saraswati and four others in Orissa on Saturday, BJP general secretary Vinay Katiyar today alleged that a Congress Rajya Sabha member conspired the killing.

Demanding a thorough probe into the case, Mr Katiyar here yesterday said Swami Laxmananand was gaining popularity in Kanghmal and nearby tribal areas, which was not acceptable to the Congressman, thus he plotted the murder.

Earlier also, the VHP leader was attacked at his native village, however he escaped unhurt. An FIR was also lodged into the case but nothing was done, he said.

On Saturday, Saraswati and four others were shot dead by some unknown assailants at Jaleshpata Ashrama school in Orissa, where he had come to participated in the ''Jail Bhoro Andolan'' in protest against the Jammu Kashmir government's decision to revoke the order of land diverted in favour of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB).

State Director General of Police Gopal Kumar Nanda said the assailants, suspected to be naxalites, attacked the Ashram and opened indiscriminate firing killing Mr Swami on the spot along with four others.

Churches attacked as Orissa protests intensify

Bhubaneswar, Aug 25 : Hindu mobs attacked churches and vehicles in several parts of Orissa Monday as a a statewide shutdown called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to protest the killing of a leader of the organisation came into effect impacting rail and road traffic.

At least two churches were attacked in the districts of Bargarh and Jajpur, police said.

"Some churches have been attacked and there are reports of sporadic violence," state Inspector General of Police Pradeep Kapoor told IANS.

Rail and road traffic was disrupted across the state and thousands of people staged demonstrations in several places.

The protesters also burnt more than half a dozen vehicles in separate incidents, police said.

"Train services have been affected across the state," J.P. Mishra, spokesperson of the east coast railway, told IANS. "Neither passenger nor goods trains were allowed to move from stations."

Road traffic was badly hit and many vehicles were attacked.

"Protesters damaged at least five vehicles - two in Rourkela and three in the coastal district of Balasore," a police official said.

Thousands of protesters staged demonstrations and burnt tyres in several villages, towns and on national highways. Almost all shops and petrol pumps remained closed.

Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, a member of VHP's central advisory committee, and four other people were killed at his Jalespata ashram, some 340 km from here in communally volatile Kandhamal district, Saturday evening after more than 30 suspected Maoist rebels opened fired on them.

According to Director General of Police Gopal Chandra Nanda, the attackers used "sophisticated rifles and AK-47".

Saraswati was leading a campaign against cow slaughter and religious conversion in the communally sensitive Kandhamal district. The district, with a population of around 600,000 including 150,000 Christians, has witnessed numerous clashes between Hindus and Christians in the past.

Saraswati's supporters have been holding protests since Saturday night, blocking trains and vehicles.

On Sunday, at least three prayer houses were burnt by a mob in Kandhamal and a police outpost was attacked. Ten houses in Rupagaon village were also set on fire.

The state government Sunday ordered a judicial probe into the killings and announced compensation for the victims. Authorities also constituted a special police team to investigate the crime.

VHP seeks apology from Orissa CM

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 25: VHP international secretary-general Praveen Togadia today lambasted the BJD-BJP government in Orissa.

He held chief minister Naveen Patnaik and the state police responsible for death of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and demanded a public apology from him as his government had “failed” to protect the seer.

Describing the Naveen Patnaik government as a “government of eunuchs”, Togadia said: “Six months ago, the swamiji was attacked. Even then, the chief minister and police behaved like eunuchs.”

“Naveen should publicly apologise, as he is responsible for the death. It was his individual responsibility to protect the seer,” said the VHP leader, while talking to the reporters at the Biju Patnaik airport here.

Togadia, who left for Chakapada to attend the seer’s funeral, added: “Naveen may agree or disagree, he is duty bound to protect the saints.”

Asked whether he wanted the resignation of the chief minister, he quickly answered: “We are not demanding Naveen’s resignation but a public apology.”

Dubbing the murder as the “first open attack on Hindu institutions and saints”, the VHP leader demanded imposition of a ban on church activities.

Criticising the director-general of police, Gopal Nanda, for hinting at a red hand in the murder, Togadia asked how Nanda knew of the alleged Naxalite involvement just 30 minutes after the incident. “He is lying and trying to mislead the people.”

The seer’s murder has brought to the fore the tenuous relationship between the ruling BJP and its brethren organisations in the saffron family. Hindu Jagaran Samukhya and Bajrang Dal have asked the BJP ministers to resign from the government — “immediately”.

Even as chief minister Naveen Patnaik ordered a judicial probe into the incident and announced an ex gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the families of last night’s attack victims, it has not assuaged the angry feelings of the Sangh Parivar.

BJP’s meteoric rise in Orissa is said to be the outcome of the groundwork laid by the Sangh Parivar in the tribal belt.

Bajrang Dal national co-convenor Subash Chouhan also echoed Praveen Togadia’s complaints. Hindu Jagaran Samukhya state convenor Ashok Sahu also demanded the chief minister’s resignation.

Both Chouhan and Sahu have dismissed the official theory of the “Naxalite hand” in the attack. “The government has squarely failed in its constitutional duty,” said Sahu rejecting the judicial inquiry ordered by the chief minister and demanding a CBI probe.

Links to this post:

Create a Link


Post a Comment

<< Home

Home | Syndicate this site (XML) | Guestbook | Blogger
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors.
Everything else © 2005 Pseudo-Secularism