Bhubaneswar, Aug 24 : In Orissa, five Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) functionaries, including Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, a prominent leader in communally-sensitive Kandhmal District, were killed by unidentified assailants, suspected to be Maoists, late last night when Janmashtami celebrations were on.
Nearly 30 armed people entered the Laxamanananda Ashram in Jalespata under Tumudibandh block and fired indiscriminately, leaving Laxmanananda Saraswati and four others dead. Immediately after the firing the armed group fled away, official sources said.
Arupananda, Chinmayananda and Mata Bhaktimayee and an unidentified person were the four others dead in the attack.
Soon after the attack, tension broke out at some places in the tribal-dominated district and roads leading to Tumudibandh block were sealed.
The district administration has rushed additional forces to the spot and prohibitory orders have been imposed to control the situation.
Steps were taken to prevent any communal flare-up in the district which witnessed violence during the Christmas in December last year.