Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashok Sahu has threatened to go on fast unto death from August 22 if the killers of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati are not brought to book.
In a letter to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Sahu said five years is a long period to bring the culprits to book. The killers and conspirators are still at large, though the incident took place on August 23, 2008. On the other hand, Sahu said, the violence that erupted soon after his murder as a spontaneous outburst among his numerous disciples in Kandhamal district has been investigated and in many cases the trial is over.
Alleging that in the name of investigation, many poor and innocent tribals have been subjected to injustice as they failed to defend themselves, Sahu said the people of Odisha were defamed on false charges of communalism and the Prime Minister called it a national shame while addressing a foreign crowd abroad. Besides, 32 persons are languishing behind bars without trial in the alleged nun rape case, he said. “You (Naveen) as our leader never thought it appropriate to defend Odisha against these false charges,” Sahu said and added that the people of the State silently endured with patience for five years with the hope that the truth in both the cases will come out. “After having waited so long, I have decided to resort to silent and passive protest and go on fast unto death while observing total silence,” Sahu said and requested the Chief Minister to gear up the criminal justice system to complete the investigation and resume trial of both the cases.
“After seven days, if nothing is done, in order to assert our rights and fight against injustice, I will sit on silent fast unto death as a passive protest, as my last resort,” Sahu said.