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.
Though details of the report, which 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, 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 4000 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.