Senior VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati shot dead

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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 tonight.

Swami Saraswati, the founder of Chakapada Ashram in Phulbani, had arrived at the Jaleshpatna Ashrma located on the Kalahandi-Phulbani border this evening from Cuttack, where he participated 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) when the tragic incident took place.

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

The Swamiji has recently issued a statement to the press stating that his life was in danger ever since he has levelled serious allegations 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.

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