Orissa VHP leader withdraws hunger strike

October 22nd, 2008 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyBhubaneswar, Oct 22 (IANS) A Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader withdrew his three-day old hunger strike here Wednesday after he was assured that the Orissa government will take necessary steps to arrest those who killed Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati.Swami Jeevan Chaitanya, a VHP central advisory committee member, was on fast since Monday with a charter of five demands, including the arrest of all those who killed Swami Laxmanananda and those who conspired in the crime.

Three ministers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) met him and assured him that the state government will take steps to arrest the culprits.

“The culprits are likely to be arrested in next two three days,” Orissa Revenue Minister Manmohan Samal told reporters.

Swami Laxmanananda, a VHP leader, and four of his aides were killed in their Jaleshpata ashram Aug 23. The murders led to violence in Kandhmal district in which 36 people have been killed and more than 20,000 people have been rendered homeless.

While Maoist guerrillas have claimed responsibility for the killings, Hindu groups hold Christians responsible for the crime. Christians and their places of worship have faced large-scale attacks.

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