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Kandhamal Riots: Panel Points at Maoists for VHP leader Death

Justice Naidu reported to have suggested several measures to prevent riots; details of the report not available

Published: 23rd December 2015 04:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd December 2015 04:17 AM   |  A+A-

BHUBANESWAR: Justice AS Naidu Commission of Inquiry, which probed into the 2008 riots in Kandhamal district following the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, is reported to have pointed towards Maoist hand in the murder of Swami and his four associates in the Chakapada ashram on August 23 the same year.

The report was submitted by secretary of the Commission of Inquiry AK Patnaik to Principal Secretary in the Home Department Asit Kumar Tripathy on Tuesday in the Secretariat. Though details of the report are not available, Justice Naidu is reported to have suggested several measures to prevent riots. The Commission of Inquiry was set up on September 8, 2008 after communal riots broke out in Kandhamal district and other parts of the State following the murder of Swami and his associates. At least 38 people were killed in the riots, which continued for nearly a month.

“We handed over the Commission’s report in two volumes to the Home Secretary on Tuesday,” Patnaik told mediapersons.

Not revealing the Commission’s findings and recommendations made in the report, Patnaik said total 825 affidavits were filed before the Commission while 300 witnesses deposed before it. The Commission in course of its investigation verified document running into 4,000 pages.

Riots broke out in different parts of Kandhamal during the VHP leader’s funeral procession from Jalespata ashram to Chakapada ashram located at the other end of the district on August 25.

More than 25,000 Christians had fled their homes in Kandhamal after their houses were attacked by rampaging mobs.

Retired Justice Sarat Chandra Mohapatra was appointed as the one-man commission to probe Saraswati’s killing and the subsequent riots. However, Justice Mohapatra passed away in 2012 before completing the inquiry. Then Retired Justice AS Naidu was appointed by the Government to head the one-man probe panel in 2012.

TERRIFYING NUMBERS

825 affidavits filed, 300 witnesses deposed

4,000 pages of document verified during investigation

38 people killed in the riots which continued for nearly a month

25,000 Christians fled after their houses were attacked by rampaging mob

CASE DIARY

■ VHP leader Swami Laxmananda Saraswati and four of his associates at his Chakapada Ashram murdered on August 23

■ Mob rampaged houses of Christians, holding them responsible for the murders

■ Riots broke out on August 25 in different parts of Kandhamal during the VHP leader’s funeral procession from Jalespata ashram to Chakapada ashram

■ According to Kandhamal Committee for Peace and Justice, over 6,500 Christian homes and 395 churches and places of worship were destroyed

■ Justice Sarat Chandra Mohapatra appointed as one-man commission to probe killing and subsequent riots. After his death in 2012, Justice A S Naidu was appointed



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