Arrest Orissa VHP leader’s killers: RSS

October 23rd, 2008 - 12:20 am ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Oct 22 (IANS) The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Wednesday asked the Orissa government to arrest the killers of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, even as it denied the role of any Hindu group in the anti-Christian violence that followed in the state.”Steps should be taken to book the culprits and conspirators,” RSS joint general secretary Madan Das told reporters here.

Denying the role of Bajrang Dal and VHP in anti-Christian violence in Orissa that has claimed at least 36 lives, he said: “No Hindu group can sponsor or participate in violence.”

Das, along with RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan, earlier met Swami Jeevan Chaitanya, a VHP member who was on fast here since Monday, demanding that Saraswati’s killers be arrested.

Chaitanya withdrew the strike Wednesday after the Orissa government assured it would take the necessary steps to nab the culprits.

Kandhamal district, some 200 km from state capital Bhubaneswar, has been witnessing communal violence after the killing of Saraswati and his aides at his Jalespata Ashram Aug 23. At least 36 people, mostly Christians, have been killed and thousands of homes burnt during the violence in the past weeks.

Maoist rebels have claimed responsibility for the murder, but some Hindu groups held Christians responsible for it, despite repeated denials by Christian organisations.

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