3 Maoists held for assassination of Swami Laxmananda

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 6 (UNI) After forty-three days of the ghastly murder of VHP leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and his four disciples, the Orissa Crime branch, today arrested three Maoists allegedly involved in the crime and recovered two guns from them.

State Director General of Police M M Praharaj said the three suspects had confessed to their involvement in the killing of the Swamiji and four others inside the Jalaspeta Ashram on the night of August 23.

The crime branch police also recovered some black masks and two guns from their possession and were interrogating them to ascertain some more facts about the incident.

Police claimed to have strong evidence against the three Maoists for their role in the assassination of the VHP leader.

During interrogation, the trio told the investigating officials that as many as 20 people were involved in the murder of the Swamiji.

The killing of the VHP leaders fuelled an unprecedented communal clashes in Kandhamal district claming 35 lives. Several houses and places of worship were set ablaze rendering thousands of people homeless.

The Orissa government has ordered a crime branch inquiry into the murder of Swamiji and four of his disciples and announced a commission of inquiry by a retired High court judge into the communal violence in the aftermath of the murder of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati.

UNI DP PC PK AS2040

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