Include Congress MP’s role in Judicial Probe on Kandhamal violence-VHP

published on December 31, 2007

Include Cong MP’s role in judicial probe: VHP

Pioneer News Service | Bhubaneswar

A six-member delegation of the VHP on Saturday met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and urged him to bring the alleged role of Congress Rajya Sabha member Radha Kanta Nayak under the purview of the judicial commission headed by Justice Basudev Panigrahi, who would probe into the communal violence in Kandhamal district.

The VHP leaders also demanded to include the attack on Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati in the commission’s terms and conditions. VHP State president Bipin Bihari Ratho, general secretary Gouri Prasad Rath, former High Court judge M Papanna, VHP president (Purva) Raghunath Mohapatra, secretary Pramod Acharya and former president of Utkal Sahitya Samaj Ratnakar Chaini were among those in the delegation.

Later, speaking at a news conference, Gouri Prasad Rath welcomed the Government’s decision for a judicial probe and said, “We have detailed out the whole issue with the Chief Minister and we hope the Government will act accordingly.” Turning down the claim of Christian bodies over the Kandhamal violence, he said both Christians and Maoist cadres jointly conspired against the tribal Hindus.

The VHP also submitted a five-point charter of demands to the Chief Minister, stating, “The Orissa Freedom of Religion Act of 1967 should be truly and strictly enforced to avoid illegal conversions and the Act should be suitably amended to prevent such conversions as well as to suitably enhance the sentence for conviction of offences under the Act.”

The VHP delegation urged Patnaik to provide Swami Laxmananda with Z Plus security in view of the repeated attempts on his life. The Government should set up a commission to investigate the flow of foreign funds to missionaries, they pleaded.

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