The VHP-sponsored bandh, to protest against the killing of their leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four disciples, witnessed attacks on churches and missionary schools across the state, reminiscent of the Graham Staines case in January 1999. In Bhubaneswar, the state capital, protesters stoned a church. Churches in Kandhamal, Bargarh, Koraput Deogarh districts were also attacked.
Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, a member of VHP's central advisory committee, and four other people were killed at his Jalespata ashram, some 340 km from here, Saturday, Aug 23 evening after more than 30 suspected Maoist rebels opened fired on them. The ashram is in Kandhamal district.
Kandhamal remained tense as the Swami was cremated at his Ashram.