Set up an inquiry into Orissa churches: Togadia

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Bhubaneswar, Aug 26: VHP's International Secretary Prabin Bhai Tagodia on Tuesday, Aug 26 demanded setting up of a special inquiry commission to probe into the role of the churches in the conversion and a special court to trial the accused involved in the murder of VHP leader Swami Laxmananada and four of his disciples in Orissa.

Mr Togadia, who arrived here to participate in the last rites of slain Swamiji at Chakapada in Kandhmal district, told newspersons that the special inquiry commission should also probe the activities of the foreign missionaries and the funding to the churches.

Condemning the attack on the Swamiji, the VHP leader demanded that the Naveen Patnaik government should set up special trial court for speedy hearings and the accused in the murder case be hanged if convicted.

He alleged the Christian militants were behind the killing of the Swamiji as the churches wanted to eliminate the VHP leader, who had been providing education and health care to the poor tribals in the region.

Coming down heavily on the state government for its "complete failure" to protect a 90 year old sadhu, Mr Togadia wanted to know why adequate protection was not provided to the Swamiji, who had been apprehending threat on his life.

" What was the role of the police when the Swamiji was gunned down mercilessly at his Ashram in Jalespata in Kandhmal district on August 23 last," Mr, Togadia asked and accused the Naveen Patnaik government of "taking no steps to save the life of the Swamiji at the behest of the Christians and the Churches."

Mr Togadia alleged the churches in Orissa engaged in conversion wanted to eliminate the Swamiji as he was the major stumblinmg block to their "unlawful activities". He said Orissa was the first state to introduce the anti conversion law but the Christian community has challenged it in the Apex court stating that under article 25 of the constitution, they have the right to propagate their religion.

But a Constitutional bench of the Supereme Court, the VHP leader said had catagorically ruled in 1977 that the right to propagate does not mean right to conversion and observed conversion as anti-constitutional.

Nothwithstanding the Apex court's ruling and the anti-conversion law in Orissa, he said the conversion had been going on unabated with the clear patronage of the churches.

He demanded that anti-conversion law should be formulated for the whole country and announced that the VHP would soon organised an ''anti conversion yatra'' in Orissa to fulfil the dreams of the Swami Laxmananada Saraswati where the people would take a pledge not to allow a single conversion in the state.

Mr Togadia said protest rallies and demonstrations would be organised everywhere to put pressure on the government to strictly implement the anti-convesrion law.

If necessary thousands of sadhus from across the country would march Bhubaneswar to stage a demonstration to ask Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik act against the violent churches and implement the anti convesrsion law, Mr Togadia said.

He said the murder of Swami Laxmananada was a part of a bigger conspiracy of the Christian militants to carry out the conversion in the country as Shanti Kali, the religion head of Tripur tribe in Tripura and sant Manipur were also threatened and killed by the Christian militants in the past for opposing conversion.

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