Death anniv of Laxmanananda Saraswati observed

Phulbani: The fourth death anniversary of Laxmanananda Saraswati was observed on Thursday amidst tight security in Kandhamal district where the VHP leader and four associates were gunned down in 2008.

Armed police were deployed in strength at both ashrams at Jalespeta and Chakapad with 34 platoons (about 1000 personnel) patrolling in vulnerable places and at entry points of the district, DSP G P Behera said.

VHP members observed the day as `Balidan Divas` and took out a procession here and held a meeting at the Coronation ground.

Speakers at the meeting criticised the Odisha government for failing to nab the real culprits and conspirators involved in Saraswati`s killing. They also alleged government inaction to check religious conversion and its attempt to appease Christians.

The killing had led to a large-scale violence in which 38 persons were killed.
Maoists had claimed responsibility for Saraswati`s killing. The crime branch of police which probed the killing had filed charge-sheet against 14 persons of whom four could only be arrested.