Swami Laxmnananda Saraswati and four others shot dead by assailants

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Bhubaneswar,Aug 23 (UNI) Prominent Vishwa Hindu Parishad(VHP) leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four others were shot dead by some unknown assailants at Jaleshpata Ashrama school on the Kalahandi Phulbani border tonight.

Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, the founder of Chakapada Ashrma in Phulbani has gone to the Ashrma when the assailants attacked it and opened indiscriminate firing killing the Swamiji on the spot along with four others.

State Director General of Police Gopal Nanda confirmed that Swamiji was shot dead but the identification of four others were yet to be confirmed.

The Swamiji has recently issued a statement to the press stating that his life was in danger ever since he has lavelled serious allegation against the Christian missionaries joining hands with the Maoists in the tribal dominated Phulbani district.

The attack on the Swamiji in December last had triggered off communal violence in Phulbani in which houses belonging to both the Hindu and Christian communities and churches were burnt.The violence also claimed three lives prompting the state government to institute a Judicial inquiry.

The Swamiji had claimed that at least eight attempts had been made on his life in Kandhmal district during the past few years.

The DGP said senior police officials have rushed to the spot and the Kalahandi-Phulbani border area had been sealed.The police had launched a combing operation to nab the assailants.

It was not immediately known who the assailants were but the VHP leaders alleged that it was a well planned conspiracy by a vested group to eliminate Swamiji who had launched a movement against conversion by the Christian missionaries in the region.

The VHP has called for Phulbani Bandhi tomorrow to protest against the killing of Swamiji.The situation in entire Phulbani was tense and police reinforcements rushed to the district to control the situation.

UNI DP DB2302

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