Leaders of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Wednesday slammed the State Government for its failure to arrest the killers of Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati even after five years.
Addressing the fifth memorial meeting of the slain sadhu, organised by the Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati Memorial Trust here, trustee and social activist Mansukhlal Sethia said it is matter of grave concern that the killers of the Swami and four of his associates are still at large. He condemned the inefficiency of the police investigating the case to find any trace of the killers.
Describing Lakshmanananda as a great reformer, Abhiram Saraswat of Ananta Ashram, Khandagiri and Swami Pranarupananda Saraswat of Uttara Asharam said the slain sadhu had devoted his life for the educational development of tribal children in Kandhamal district.
Prof Prafulla Kumar Mishra of Utkal University highlighted the dedicated and selfless services of Lakshmanananda in promoting education and improving the standard of living of the tribals. The sadhu was a true social reformer, he added.
The BJP has also renewed demands for the arrest of the killers. Rajya Sabha member and national general secretary of the party Dharmendra Pradhan accused the State Government of protecting those involved in the brutal murder of the senior VHP leader five years ago. He said the Government is deliberately not arresting Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, who is claimed to have murdered the VHP leader. Arrest of Panda will expose the nexus of the Government with the Maoist leader, he added.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Ashok Sahu, who is on fast-unto-death demanding the arrest of the killers, is still in the intensive care unit of the SCB Medical College and Hospital. He was admitted after his health deteriorated.