Laxnmananda assassination: 3 Maoists arrested

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 6 (UNI) The Orissa Crime Branch police today achieved a major breakthrough in the sensational murder of VHP leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four of his disciples by arresting three Maoists from Majhiguda village under Tumudibandh Police Station.

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

Inspector General Crime Branch Arun Ray said the special team probing the murder had recovered four black shirts, two masks and two single barrel muzzle loaded guns from their possession.

The three arrested had been identified as Duryadhan Sonamajhi, Munda Badamajhi and Sanatan Badamajhi. All of them would be produced before the SDJM court at Baliguda tomorrow and the crime branch would pray for their police remand for further interrogation.

As per the confession of the three suspects, 18 people, eight of them armed cadres and the rest unarmed, had taken part in the execution of the Swamiji and four others.

Police said the trio had joined the outfit just after the communal violence in December last year in the district.

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

The killing of the VHP leaders fuelled 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.

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