Togadia accuses govt of being soft towards Maoists

Bhubaneswar: Accusing BJD government of being soft towards Maoists that led to the abduction of Malkangiri district collector and a junior engineer, VHP on Monday asked it to refrain from surrendering before the ultras.

"The government should not surrender before Maoists or any group engaged in armed rebellion and working against the constitution of the country," senior VHP leader Pravin Togadia told reporters here.

Hitting out at Naveen Patnaik government for the abduction of Malkangiri collector R V Krishna and junior engineer Pabitra Majhi, Togadia said such a situation has arisen as the BJD government was soft towards Maoists.

Asking the state government to adopt a proper strategy to ensure safe release of the hostages and also to eliminate the Maoists, he said, "It is the duty of the government to see that the abducted persons return safely."

The VHP leader said the BJD government was answerable to the people for the abduction episode and asked that "if the Collector of a district is unsafe, who else can be safe"?

Maoists were encouraged as the killers of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati were not punished, he said adding the government should not do anything which would encourage the activities of the red rebels.

"If Maoists are not eliminated, a Nepal like situation would be created here," Togadia warned and said if Naveen Patnaik was honest he should arrest the killers of Saraswati and hang them.

The government should give maximum importance to health, education and employment in tribal areas to keep them away from Maoist influence, he said.

On corruption, the VHP leader said special courts should be set up to try corruption cases and politicians found involved in corruption should be hanged.

Terming religious conversion as an attack on the old identity of a person, Togadia said any attempt at conversion should be opposed.