Two arrested for killing Hindu leader in Orissa (Lead)

October 6th, 2008 - 11:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyBhubaneswar, Oct 6 (IANS) Two Maoists were arrested Monday on the charge of killing a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader in Orissa Aug 23 that led to communal violence in the state.”We have arrested two persons, with guns and masks they used to kill Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati,” state Inspector General of Police (Crime Branch) Arun Kumar Ray told IANS.

He said the arrested persons have confessed their crime.

“We have also detained one more person. We will nab some more people soon,” he said, adding that raids were on at various places.

The arrests came after one of the most wanted Maoist leaders, interacting with a select group of reporters from an undisclosed location Saturday, said he had ordered the killing of the VHP leader.

“We ordered the death penalty for him,” Sabyasachi Panda, the Maoist leader, had said.

On Monday, the police also arrested about 40 more people in Kandhamal district for rioting and other crimes during communal violence that has claimed 35 lives and left thousands homeless over the past five weeks.

Officials said the violence was on the wane.

“The total number of people arrested for their involvement directly or indirectly in the violence would be around 1,000 over the past month,” a senior state home department official told IANS.

Of them, 500 people have been arrested in Kandhamal district alone.

Many of those arrested are linked to Hindu organisations like the VHP and Bajrang Dal. Some of them are also members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the official said.

“The situation is under control. No violence has been reported from any part of the district in the past three days,” Kandhamal police chief S. Praveen Kumar told IANS Monday.

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