RSS activist gunned down in Kandhamal (Lead)

November 5th, 2008 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Nov 5 (IANS) An activist of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was Wednesday shot dead by suspected Maoists in Orissa’s communally sensitive Kandhamal district, the police said.”Three people came on a motorcycle and shot dead Dhanu Pradhan at Kumarigaon village,” an official of the Brahmanigaon police station told IANS.

Pradhan was a contractor and a known RSS activist in the area. “A police team has been rushed to the village for investigation,” the official added.

“We suspect Maoist hand in the killing,” Arun Sarangi, deputy inspector general of police, told reporters here.

The district of Kandhamal, some 200 km from here, witnessed communal violence after the murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his aides Aug 23.

While the police blamed the Maoists for the crime, the Hindu groups blamed Christians for the murder. At least 38 people were killed and thousands were rendered homeless in the violence and arson.

The police are not sure if Wednesday’s killing has any link to the communal violence.

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