Orissa VHP leader’s hunger strike enters second day

October 21st, 2008 - 8:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyBhubaneswar, Oct 21 (IANS) A hunger strike by a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader here demanding arrest of those behind the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati entered the second day Tuesday.Senior leaders of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) including national vice president Jual Oram and state president Suresh Pujari went to the venue of the protest and extended their support to Swami Jeevan Chaitanya, a VHP central advisory committee member, who is on fast.

Swami Jeevan Chaitanya and 70 other Hindu saints have been protesting here with a charter of five demands.

“We want the arrest of all those who killed Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and those who conspired in the crime,” Swami Jeevan Chaitanya told IANS.

“Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati had named two persons prior to his killing and had said they were after his life. We want their immediate arrest,” he said.

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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