Curfew in Kandhmal over killing of VHP leader

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Bhubaneswar, Aug 24 (UNI) Apprehending large-cale violence in the tribal dominated Kandhmal over the killing of senior VHP leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four others by armed assailants yesterday, the authorities today imposed curfew in three sensitive blocks and promulgated prohibitory orders in rest parts of the district.

Official sources said curfew was imposed in Phulbani, Baliguda and G Udayagiri from this evening, which would be in force till 0800 hrs tomorrow.

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik ordered a Judicial inquiry into the incident and placed Kandhmal Superintendent of Police Nikhil Kanodia under suspension.

The government, had also suspended Tumudibandh police station officer in-charge Madhu Jena Samant for not acting on the FIR filed by Swamiji, who sought police protection apprehending threat on his life.

The gruesome killing of the senior VHP leader has sent shock waves across Orissa with Hindu outfits and Opposition political parties demanding resignation of Mr Patnaik holding him responsible for the mayhen.

The Hindu Jagaran Samukhya (HJS), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajarang Dal have called for Orissa bandh tomorrow to protest what they described ''cold blooded murder of Swamiji and four others at the Jalaspata Ashram in Kandhmal distict.'' The BJP while condemning the killing has extended its support to the bandh call.

Mr Patnaik dubbed the killing as most unfortunate and ordered a judicial inquiry.

He also a announced compensation of Rs two lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.

The authority apprehending violence and communal tension promulgated prohibitory orders under Section 144CrPC in the entire Kandhmal district and deployed para-military forces at all sensitive and strategic places across the district.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha L K Advani and BJP president Rajnath Singh expressed shock over the killing of Swami Laxmanannda Saraswati, a selfless Hindu seer, and urged the state government to take action against the perpetrators of the heinous crime by conducting a speedy investigation.

A delegation of the Orissa Congress led by former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition in Orissa Assembly J B Pattnaik, today met Orissa Governor M C Bhandare and urged him to invoke provisions under 5th schedule of the Constitution for maintaining peace, law and order in Kandhmal district.

the Chief Minister, who held a high-evel meeting at the state secretariat with state Home Secretary T K Mishra and state Director General of Police Gopal Nanda, said two Inspectors General of Police and as many Deputy Inspector General of Police were camping in Kandhmal with additional forces to monitor the situation.

Meanwhile, Hindu Jagaraan Samukhya and other Hindu outfits today demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident stating that police in Orissa had miserably failed to protect swamiji is life.



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