Orissa BJP demands arrest of VHP leader's assailants

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Bhubaneswar, Aug 28 (UNI) The Orissa BJP leaders today demanded the immediate arrest of the assailants who gunned down VHP leader Swami Laxmananad Saraswati and four of his disciples last week inside the Jalaspeta Ashram in Kandhamal district.

State BJP President Suresh Pujari, BJP Legislature Party leader B B Harichandan, BJP national secretary Dharmendra Pradhan and party's deputy leader Manmohan Samal met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and urged him to arrest all those responsible for the killing of the Swami.

They described the assassination of the VHP leader as part of a well-organised conspiracy by the anti-national forces and demanded that the judicial inquiry ordered by the government should probe the reasons behind the ghastly killing.

The BJP leaders, members of a core group, were under tremendous pressure from the party legislators who had even asked the state leadership to apprise the Central leaders of withdrawing support to the government for ''failing to protect'' the life of the Swami.

They told the Chief Minister that Swamiji was assassinated as he had dedicated his entire life opposing the illegal conversion going on in the state and cow slaughter.

Stating that under no circumstances the BJP would compromise on the illegal conversion and cow slaughter,the BJP leaders urged the Chief Minister to strictly implement the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act and the law against the cow slaughter.

Appealing to the people of the state to restore peace and harmony, they said it was most unfortunate that the Congress was trying to take political mileage in the wake of the troubles arising out of the aftermath of the killing of Swamiji and four others.

Holding the Congress responsible for and as the creator of the conversions in the state, the BJP leader said they would never allow the Congress to succeed in their ''evil objective''.

UNI DP KK SBC AS1709

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