Massive security for Laxmanananda rally in Bhubaneswar

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 14 (UNI) The Orissa government today geared up its machineries and decided to deploy 49 platoons of police force in view of a massive rally here tomorrow demanding the immediate arrest of the killers of Swami Laxamananda Saraswati, who was gunned down on the night of August 23 inside Jalespata Ashram in Kandhmal district.

Commissioner of Police B K Sharma said more security personnel, including 15 companies of Rapid Action Force, would be deployed if needed to maintain law and order during the rally.

Over a lakh followers of Swamiji are expected to participate in the proposed rally organised by Swami Laxamananda Saraswati Shdradhanjali Samiti, which will converge before the state Assembly to be addressed by prominent Saints and VHP leaders.

Samiti sources said the rally will be held as per the schedule despite a central government's directive to the state government not to allow the organisers to hold such a rally.

When contacted, state Home Secretary said, ''We respect the democratic rights of the people and at the same time want to ensure that no unpleasant incident or law and order problem arise.'' When asked in the wake of the Central government's directive whether the government would allow the rally to be held in the state capital, the Home Secretary said, ''The DGP and other senior police officials will make the assessment and take a decision in the greater interest of the people.'' The administration should not interfere on the democratic rights of the people as long as they are peaceful, he said.

Samiti president Ratnakar Chaini regretted that though more than two and half months had passed since Swamiji was killed, the government had failed to arrest the killers. The rally would serve an ultimatum to the state government to arrest the killers by November 15 next or else ''Orissa Bandh'' would be observed on Christmas Day on December 25.

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