Naveen govt under fire over killing of VHP leader in Orissa

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Bhubaneswar, Aug 24 (UNI) The brutal killing of senior VHP leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four others by armed assailants yesterday has sent shock waves across Orissa with Hindu outfits and Opposition political parties demanding the resignation of the Naveen Patnaik government holding him responsible for the mayhem.

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 district.

The ruling alliance partner BJP while condemning the killing has extended its support to the bandh call.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dubbed the killing most unfortunate and ordered a judicial inquiry.

He also a announced compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.

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

The Congress, the CPI, CPI (M), NCP and several Hindu outfits have demanded the immediate resignation of the Chief Minister holding him squarely responsible for the killing of the Swamiji.

Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani and BJP president Rajnath Singh have 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 this heinous crime by conducting a speedy investigation.

A delegation of the Orissa Congress led by former Chief Minister and Leader of Opposition in the 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.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, 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 the police in Orissa had miserably failed to protect the life of Swamiji who had repeatedly received threat to his life and sought police protection.

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