Maoists gun down Hindu leader in Orissa’s Kandhamal district

March 19th, 2009 - 2:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, March 19 (IANS) Armed Maoists have gunned down a Hindu leader in Orissa’s Kandhamal district, which witnessed communal violence last year after the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, police said Thursday.
“About 15 to 20 Maoists killed Prabhat Panigrahi in Rudiguma village Wednesday night,” District Superintendent of Police S. Praveen Kumar told IANS.

Panigrahi was the block head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and was arrested for his involvement in the August-September 2008 communal riots. He had been released on bail in March.

“Policemen have been trying to reach the spot but they are facing difficulty because the rebels have blocked roads by felling trees,” Kumar said.

The Kandhamal district, about 200 km from here, witnessed widespread communal violence after the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides at his ashram on Aug 23, 2008.

At least 38 people were killed in the state and more than 25,000 Christians were forced to flee their homes after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs.

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