Archive for the 'Kandhamal' Category

High Court Orders Police to Probe Betticola Church for the Brutal Killing of Hindu Swamy Laxmanananda Saraswati

HC for re-probe in Laxmanananda Saraswati murder
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hc-for-reprobe-in-laxmanananda-saraswati-mu/827457/

The Orissa High Court on Thursday directed the police to further investigate the murder of VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati on the basis of new material evidences and immediately submit a new chargesheet in the trial court.

Disposing a writ petition by Saraswati’s disciple Brahmachari Madhava Chaitanya and another intervening petition by VHP leader Durga Prasad Kar, Justice M M Das asked the police to re-investigate the case on the evidence provided by Kar and others.

The petitioners had alleged that the police did not take into account the resolution passed by Betticola church in G Udaygiri block of Kandhamal two-three days before the murder.

The petitioners had alleged that the resolution by Betticola church had talked of eliminating Saraswati. They also alleged that a blood-stained sharp weapon found near the pond of Saraswati’s ashram was not taken into account.

Chaitanya had in 2009 filed a case in HC, alleging that the investigation was flawed as a TI parade of the accused was not conducted.

Saraswati, 82, was celebrating Janmasthami on August 23, 2008, when masked assailants, armed with AK-47 sprayed him with bullets.

The attackers had then hacked his right leg and rained blows on his torso. Three of his associates — Kishore baba, 45, Amritananda baba, 62, Mata Bhaktimayee, 40 — and Puranjan Ganthi, 28, brother of one of the girl inmates of the tribal residential school, fell to the bullets. The killings led to a communal riot in the district.

Christians paid Maoists to brutally kill 80 year Swami Laxmanananda

Western readers may not be able to glean from the message who this unmentioned community is which was involved in the brutal killing of the 80 Swami and four others.

Indians who are used to the pseudo secularism of mainstream English media, can read between the lines and figure out which community conspired and hired the maoists to carry out the heinous deed so as to remove the Swami who was an obstacle to their coversion activities and destroy Hindu religion.

http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Oct172008/national2008101795680.asp

‘Maoists hired to kill Laxmanananda’

Bhubaneswar, PTI:
In a major breakthrough the Orissa police on Thursday claimed that the mastermind behind VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati’s killing had been identified as a group had hired the Maoists to execute the crime.

“Maoists were given money to train certain youths of a particular community to eliminate Saraswati,” Inspector General (IG) of Police, crime branch, Arun Ray told PTI asserting the mastermind of the killings had been identified.

Stating the mastermind had fled Orissa, the IG said, “We will trace them soon.”

The plan to eliminate Saraswati was made immediately after the December 2007 communal violence in Kandhamal, he added.

Elaborating the probe by the crime branch, he said investigations also showed that a group had collected money from some villages in Kandhamal which was given to the Maoist group to train their youths for the purpose. At least 60 youths were given arms training by Maoists, the IG said dwelling on the inputs from three arrested persons.

Ray said members of a particular community were unhappy with Saraswati and held him responsible for the riots which took place during Christmas in 2007.

They requested a Maoist group to assist them in killing Saraswati, he said.

Confirming that six Telugu-speaking persons fired at Saraswati and others, the crime branch investigation revealed that the trained group were guarding the ashram at Jalespeta in Kandhamal during the incident.

Refusing to divulge identity and religion of the mastermind behind the killing which sparked communal violence in Kandhamal, IG said Maoists only executed the crime.

While the motive behind Saraswati’s killing was clear, the sleuths gathered evidences against people who planned the crime not realising that it would trigger such a largescale violence, he said.

Dangerous Christian demand for Kandhamal to be split: A prelude to separating from India and genocide of Hindu minority people and religion

The demand for partition of the district shows how great a danger nefarious missionaries pose. They start out providing with social services, and talk about the love and justice of Jeus Christ,  induce unethical conversions through hook and crook  and end up with call for seperation with attendant violence, terrorism, division of society forcible conversion of non christians or if that is not possible genocide as historically witnessed in the Americas and other parts of the world.  Converted Nagaland in India with their slogan Nagalim for Christ is already demand a separate nation.

Christian missionary activity have to be recognized for what it is — extremely toxic, hateful, divisive, vile and harmful,  for the Indian state and derogatory and destructive  of local culture, norms and people.  It will spell the death of peace, harmony, stability that once characterised the region before the advent of violent genocide pro Christians.

http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Oct172008/national2008101795679.asp
Split Kandhamal district: Christians
From S T Beuria, DH News Service, Tikabali (Kandhamal):

The recent chain of incidents in Kandhamal has forced local Christians to put forward a demand for division of the tribal dominated district and creation of two districts out of it – one for them and another for the Hindus.

They have already submitted a proposal in this regard to the state government. The authorities, however, are yet to react on the demand.

“We want a separate district for us so that we can live happily and peacefully. We have already submitted a memorandum in this regard to the governor during his recent visit to Kandhamal”, said Lal Mohan Digal, an inmate of the Tikabali relief camp set up by the Kandhamal district administration for Christian riot victims.

Several other Christian villagers sheltered in the Tikabali relief camp have also expressed similar sentiments and said they will prefer a separate district as they realise that it may not be possible for them to go back to their respective villages with Hindu co-villagers. They added that hardline Hindu groups have threatened them not to return to their homes as they (the Hindus) want a “Christian-free” Kandhamal.

“The government is not doing anything to settle the matter. Therefore, the best option will be to divide Kandhamal and create two separate districts of Hindus and Christians”, said Julian Digal, another inmate of Tikabali camp.

No normalcy
The Christian villagers in the relief camps rejected the Orissa government’s claim that normalcy was returning fast to the riot-hit villages and many victims had already gone back to their respective homes.

According to Kandhamal district administration, earlier there were thirty thousand riot victims in different relief camps.

The number has now reduced to a little over ten thousand.

The camp inmates admitted that many riot victims had left the relief shelters. “However, they have not returned to their homes. They have fled to more safer places like Bhubaneswar and Cuttack. Many of them have also fled to other states”, said Subash Digal, who was working as a pastor in a Church.

Rejected
Meanwhile, the Orissa government has rejected the Kui Samaj co-ordination committee’s demand to withdraw the CRPF from Kandhamal.

Another demand of the Kui Samaj, a powerful organisation of the tribals in the troubled district, to transfer the recently appointed Chief administrator for Kandhamal, senior IAS officer Madhusudan Padhi, has also been rejected by the state government.

Church Backs Terrorism in the North-East

There is clear evidence which confirms that some international Christian organisations are backing terrorism and separatist movements in the north-east. These church backed organisations are providing funds, arms and ammunitions with the aim of creating a separate Christian state.

Tripura

The National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) was founded in December 1989. Since its inception the NLFT has been engaged in an armed struggle to carve out a separate Christian nation – Tripura. The backing of the Baptist church right from the beginning has enabled this organisation to spread its base. Due to its terrorist activities, the organisation was banned by the government in 1997 but it continued its operations from across the Bangladesh border.

The priests of the Baptist church supply arms and ammunitions to these terrorist rebels. Nagmanlal Halam, the secretary of the Noapara Baptist Church in Tripura was arrested by CRPF in April 2000 on charges of aiding insurgents and possessing a large quantity of explosives including 60 gelatin sticks, 5kg of potassium, 2kg of sulphur and other ingredients for making powerful bombs. Two junior members of the same church, who had been arrested earlier tipped the police off about the explosives which were meant for terrorist organizations like the NLFT. Mr. Halam confessed to buying and supplying explosives to the NLFT. Another church official, Jatna Koloi, who was also arrested, admitted that he received training in guerrilla warfare at an NLFT base.

It is now apparent that the pattern of forced conversions at gunpoint are irrefutably linked to the Baptist Church in Tripura. The NLFT is accused of forcing Tripura’s indigenous tribes to become Christians and give up Hindu forms of worship in areas under their control. For decades Tripura’s indigenous tribal population has been dragged out of their homes and forced to convert to Christianity under threat of violence. Whenever any of the tribals organize Hindu festivals or rituals, the terrorist groups attack to desecrate and kill the participants. There have been incidents of issuing a ban on the Hindu festivals of Durga Puja and Saraswati Puja. The NLFT manifesto says that they want to expand what they describe as the kingdom of God and Christ in Tripura. The hill tribe ‘Jamatiya’ worship their traditional god ‘Gadiya’, who is supposed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva, in the month of March. The terrorists have issued an order that the ‘Gadiya’ be prayed on the Christmas day instead.

The Baptist Church in Tripura was set up by missionaries from New Zealand 60
years ago. It won only a few thousand converts until 1980 when a mass scale ethnic riot was engineered by the Church in which systematic ethnic cleansing of Hindu and Buddhist tribals was initiated. Thousands of women were raped and kidnapped and forced to convert to Christianity. The terrorists receive military aid from extremist Christian groups in Australia and New Zealand. They also have ongoing exchanges with Islamic terrorist and ISI who push in arms from the Bangladeshi border.

When the RSS and other Hindu organizations decided to help the Hindus under attack in Tripura by aiding them in reconversion, hundreds of the RSS volunteers were attacked, threatened and blackmailed. Several of them were murdered and a number of them were kidnapped and held hostage by the Christian terrorists. In August 2000, Swami Shantikali Maharaj, the famous Hindu sage known for his social services was killed by the terrorists. In December 2000, Lavkumar Jamatiya, the priest of the ‘Jamatiya’ tribe was killed, two Hindu temples and one Buddhist temple were destroyed and order was issued to end all non-Christian methods of praying. In the year 2001, there were 826 terrorist attacks in Tripura in which 405 persons were killed and 481 cases of kidnapping by the rebels.

Nagaland

The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), a separatist organisation has two main factions. Both the factions are headed by Christians and get financial support from World Council of Churches, a missionary organisation. China provides arms and ammunitions to both the factions.

The NSCN has its offices in New York, Geneva and Hague which display boards with legend ‘Peoples Republic of Nagaland’. It has twice raised its demand for an independent nation in the United Nations. The NSCN has its own government which collects money from the local people. One third of the salaries of the government servants is taken away as Nagaland Tax before disbursement. Most of the banks in Nagaland have closed down because of the huge sums extracted by this outfit. The letterheads and stamps of this unofficial government read ‘Nagaland for Christ’.

There is evidence of NSCN having ties with the ISI. The NSCN general secretary in an interview with the English daily ‘Hindu’ accepted that they were trying to create pressure on the Indian army in the north-east so that there was less pressure from the army in Kashmir.

Meghalay

The proselytising activities of the Christian missionaries during the 150 years of patronage from the British rule have resulted in the conversion of two-thirds of the people of the state to Christianity. After independence in 1947, many of the locals started reverting to their original tribal religion and lifestyle. The natives of the Khasi hills started to once again get associated with their roots. They formed an organisation called ‘Sengkhasi’. Shri Rejoy Singh Khongsha, an important official of this organisation, at first got threats and later was abducted by North-east Red Army, a separatist and terrorist outfit known to have direct links with the church. The church has been threatening the leaders of ‘Sengkhasi’ for their connection with the Hindu organisations.

The Church in the north-east is also known to be associated with smuggling across the borders and circulation of fake currency notes. In December 1998, Bedang Tamjen, a Jemi-Naga missionary was arrested for making fake currency notes.

The most shocking fact is that the Indian media has not even mentioned these facts in their coverage. Whereas even unconfirmed rumors about any attack on Christians are immediately touted as “an assault on minorities”, not a word is spared to enlighten the Indian citizenry about the religious terrorism that is taking place in the north-east.

Hindus use Christian conversion strategies to reconvert villagers

Hindus use Christian conversion methods to reconvert villagers

Tit-for-tat religious conversions haunt India

Tit-for-tat religious conversions haunt India
Fri Oct 10, 2008
By Alistair Scrutton

CUTTACK (Reuters) – Siman Nayak’s shaved head is a stark reminder of a fate suffered by many Christians in eastern India in a battle over forced conversions to Hinduism that has left thousands of refugees fearing for their lives.

At least 35 people have been killed in a string of religious attacks in Orissa sparked by fears of forced conversion that have also sent more than 20,000 mainly poor, lower caste villagers into refugee camps and shelters.

“They told us if you do not become a Hindu we will hack you to death,” said Nayak as he sat in a shelter, in the Orissa town of Cuttack, where about 60 refugees live and sleep in one room.

His eyes wide with anger, Nayak said he was one of 13 villagers who were surrounded by Hindus waving axes and shouting for revenge after the death a few days before of a Hindu leader in an attack they blamed on Christians.

That killing, in Kandhamal district, sparked some of the worst anti-Christian riots in India in decades.

“They pulled out swords and axes, and called the village barbers,” said Nayak.

“They took us to a temple and told us to put our head before god. They fed us rice and ghee from temple offerings.”

Kandhamal district, a poor and remote tribal region in Orissa, has been the focus of controversy surrounding Christian missionaries since British colonial times.

The number of Christians rose by 66 percent from 1991 to 2001, the latest census data shows, and is now at more than 10 percent of the population, compared with 2 percent across India.

Controversy over conversion, which spans many parts of India, also reflects a tit-for-tat religious battle for hearts and minds. While Orissa’s victims were mostly Christians, fear of conversion is the same on both sides of the communal divide.

For years, many Hindus feared missionaries enticed the poor to Christianity with promises of schools, hospitals, and money.

“Conversion was easy because the government gave the poor and tribals minimal facilities. So the space was easily found,” said Prasanta Patnaik, a former newspaper editor in Orissa.

AGGRESSIVE MISSIONARIES?
Patnaik said he knew of cases two decades ago when some villagers were given quinine tablets to entice them to Christian “miracles”. He says missionary work now is less aggressive.

But in the past few decades, tales like these sparked a backlash from a Hindu group which “converted” many people back to Hinduism through a purification ritual.

It was a vicious cycle that was to spark disaster.

“Kandhamal has become a point of experiment for both Christian and Hindu fundamentalists,” said Basanta Mallik, a reader of history at the Utkal University in Orissa.

That movement to Hindu conversion was led by the elderly Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati. It was his killing in August that has sparked nearly two months of communal riots.

Refugees said they fear they would never return home.

Archbishop Raphael Cheenath of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar in Orissa earlier this month described forced conversions back to Hinduism as “systematic”.

Some blame Hindu political groups. Some blame lax police. Others blame underlying, decade-old ethnic and land conflicts.

But there is little doubt that deep-seated religious fears are at the root of the problem.

Some homes now have saffron flags on their roofs to distinguish them from Christians.

Some refugees know villagers have converted to Hinduism. In supposedly globalised India, others receive phone calls from old neighbours telling them to come back, but only as Hindus.

Lalita Digal, a 25-year-old refugee recounted how her house, clothes and rice stores were burnt to a cinder. Her in-laws were then surrounded by people with sticks and axes.

“My in-laws said let us say we are Hindus to make sure we are spared.” She said they were sat around a fire, given new clothes, cleanly shaved and had their hair cut. Then they were forced to recite mantras over a coconut.

A few miles away Ashok Sahu, a Hindu leader and a former inspector general of police, says such claims are exaggerated. The root of the problem, he says, is Christian conversion.

“Christians can go back provided there is no fresh conversion by the Church,” he said over a cup of tea in his upscale house.

“Peace and fraudulent conversion cannot coexist.”

(Additional reporting by Jatindra Dash and Matthias Williams in New Delhi)

Violence against Christians due to aggressive conversions

http://www.merinews.com/catFull.jsp?articleID=141562

Religious conversions, reservations and violence
The incidents of the violence against a section of Christians in Kandhmal and Mangalore are constantly increasing. Its reasons can be traced to aggressive religious conversions that are often based on pecuniary and social inducements..
CJ: R. Venkatesan Iyengar ,  5 days ago   Views:2160   Comments:7
THE RECENT attacks against a section of Christians and their places of worship in Kandhmal, Orissa and Mangalore, Karnataka by Bajrang Dal activists and their supporters are, no doubt, acts of intolerance and violence and deserve to be condemned in the severest terms. However, words like ‘persecution’ and ‘genocide’ used liberally by the foreign media to report these isolated incidents, shows that they can’t obviously, to rephrase an idiom, see the trees for the wood.

In other words, instead of focusing on the details – that is, as to what triggered the violence in both places – they have chosen to tar the whole thing as growing religious intolerance in India by opting for words like ‘persecution’ (harassing people on the basis of religion) and ‘genocide’ (systematic killing of a racial or religious group). To get down to the details, the violence in Kandhmal was sparked by the killing of 80-year-old Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, who had been leading a campaign against religious conversion of Hindu tribals to Christianity. And, what led to the attacks on churches and prayer halls in Mangalore was a controversial booklet titled ’Satyadarshini’ (The Truth), published by a local neo-convert to Christianity, which reportedly made offensive references to Hindu gods.

It is quite apparent that the cause behind the build-up to the violence in both places is ’religious conversion’, more precisely, conversion of Hindus, often socially and economically backward Hindus, to Christianity. That Christianity, like Islam, is a proselytising religion is a known fact. While Islam does not go about religious conversions aggressively, Christian missionaries belonging to different denominations have been actively encouraging and promoting conversion in India since the first Christian explorers landed on the Indian shores some six hundred years ago.

The words in The New Testament – And Jesus said to them, “Come you after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men” (Mark 1:17) – are often seen as Christ’s exhortation to his followers to be “fishers of men”, ie, convert them to the new faith, Christianity. However, what Jesus Christ meant by those words was to spread his teaching among people, notably among the Jews of his time, and thus create a spiritual enlightenment causing the people to lead a new life, where the first commandment is love for God and the second and final commandment is love for one’s neighbour or fellow human being.

The earliest conversions to Christianity were conversions of convictions. Individuals, who got converted, found in Christ’s teachings a new way of looking at God – not the Jealous God of the Old Testament (“For thou shalt worship no other god: For the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God”, Exodus 34:14), but a compassionate, all-forgiving heavenly father figure to humanity.

But as Christianity split into different and numerous denominations, conversion became a number game. As funds from Christian missions from rich countries started pouring into poor countries, the currency added an entirely new dimension to conversion. Conversions that should have remained in the realm of faith, soon degenerated into the realm of inducements.

While not all conversions are done through inducements, there is a grain of truth in the accusations that quite a few churches wouldn’t mind fishing in troubled waters. The ‘troubled’ waters they chose in Indian happened to be areas where socially and economically backward people lived.

That quite a few North-eastern states, which are dominated by tribal people, today have majority Christian populations is no coincidence. Even a cursory glance at the list of new Christian converts would show that the churches of different denominations focus on the vulnerable groups – poor, illiterates, chronic drunkards and socially deprived sections of the society. For, it is easy to sell a ‘dream’ to vulnerable people, who are on the lookout for a new lease of life, with whatever tag it comes.

However, the ‘dream’ of social equality remains a dream for many socially deprived sections of society, like Dalits, even after conversion. For example, a Dalit may convert to Christianity (a casteless religion) to escape social stigma, but the very fact that the ‘Dalit’ tag stays put even after conversion to a religion that ostensibly does not have or recognise caste divisions shows that conversions do not offer any great dignity in reality.

And, the problem starts when the converts demand the benefits of reservations in education and job, as it happened in Kandhmal, Orissa. Reservations in education and job are based on one’s caste which is peculiar to Hinduism. Naturally, when Hindus living in a particular area give up their religion for a casteless religion, they give up their caste and caste-based reservations as well. So, strictly speaking, they are not entitled to the benefits of reservation as well.

These then are the issues involved behind the violence. Do religions like Christianity have caste systems? No, they do not have caste divisions.
The Christian religious heads have to come clean on this and tell what type of Christianity they are following – a casteised, Hinduised Christianity? If yes, then that goes against everything that Jesus Christ stood for. For, to him a Samaritan was as good as a Jew.

Ideally, religious conversions should be based on one’s personal choice. Conversion to another faith should be encouraged only when one finds the principles of one religion to be better than that of the religion he/she currently belongs to. For example, Hollywood star Richard Gere’s conversion from Christianity to Buddhism was based on faith and not on pecuniary considerations.

While there is nothing wrong in conversions based on an individual’s inner convictions, conversions based on inducements and on false promises of social emancipation should be discouraged. As long as this is not done, what happened in Kandhmal and Mangalore is bound to recur.

Facts on Christian-tribal clashes in Kandhamal, Orissa

http://indiapost.com/article/perspective/1758/

Facts on Christian-tribal clashes in Kandhamal, Orissa
Sunday, 01.06.2008, 10:47pm (GMT-7)

Reports of communal vio-lence involving the con-verted Christians led by the missionaries on one hand and tribals on the other, in Kandhamal District of Orissa by the media since December 25 are vastly distorted and motivated which in public interest need be clarified lest the national image is tarnished before the general public and the international community.

The whole series of incidents started from unprovoked and preplanned attack on Vedanta Keshari Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati who was visiting his disciples in Darsingbadi village in Kandhmal District on December 24. Swamiji, 82, has been working relentlessly in the district since 1967 to protect the local population where more than 75 percent are below poverty line and are not literate. Swamiji has opened schools and hostels, hospitals and temples to protect mainly the tribals and the down-trodden from the clutches of missionaries who are operating with massive funds from foreign countries pumped into NGOs in disguised operations to convert the local tribals to Christianity.

Chief of such NGOs is ‘World Vision’ patronized by one Radhakanta Nayak, a local of Darsingbadi village from ‘Pana’ community who later got converted to Christianity. He happens to be an employee of the State Government promoted to the IAS and retired, and now a Member in the Rajya Sabha. His henchmen were the assailants who attacked Swamiji on December 24. Meanwhile, Nayak has incited Kui tribals among the Kandhs to agitate for getting his ‘Pana’ community, who are scheduled castes, relisted as scheduled tribe along with the Kui on the ground that the former also speak the Kui dialect.

Various reservation facilities to which scheduled tribes are entitled are not available to persons converted to Christianity. On hearing the assault news on Swamiji, the already agitated Kui community reacted and protested throughout the district against the ‘Pana’ community converted to Christianity. Interestingly, the Maoist (Naxalites) activists in the district are also mostly from among the recent converts to Christianity.

From the 47 Maoists arrested in connection with recent burning of villages inhabited by Hindus (Brahmanigaon, Jhinjiriguda, Katingia, and Godapur) as a counter to attacks by tribals on the churches, 20 guns have been recovered by the security forces. It is evident that the Maoists and the Church are hands in glove to spread fratricidal killings and clashes among the tribals which is evident also from incidents in Karbi-Anglong and North Cachar Hills districts in Assam. Conversions of poor tribal villagers are being conducted at gun point and by spreading terrorism.

While in active government service Radhakanta Nayak and John Nayak IPS (Retd.), both converted Christians, were instruments of the Church to proselytize the poor and illiterate ‘Pana’ and tribal communities. Under guise of NGOs thousands of dollars are pumped into the country for conversion of tribals in Jharkhand, Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and the North-East.

Taking advantage of the poverty and lack of education, thousands of converted are being trained for separatist movements like NSCN in Nagaland and Maoist insurgency in the aforesaid states. This trend is more pronounced since 1970 which is evident from the census reports till 2001.

In Kandhamal District alone the Christian population has increased from 6 percent in 1970 to 27 percent in 2001, despite an Act enacted by Orissa Legislature in 1967 to prevent conversion. Swamiji has been fighting a lone battle by making the tribal district his home for last 40 years, and he is targeted by the Church. Earlier, there were two other lethal attacks on Swamiji in 1971 and 1995.

Since then the government has provided armed protection to Swamiji. In spite of that, he was attacked by armed assailants on December 24 in which he and his driver and armed security personnel were seriously injured and hospitalized in Cuttack Medical College Hospital.

Hence, the recent clashes manifest the various ramifications of the socio-economic, political and cultural tribal issues and the deep-rooted conspiracy by the Church to destabilize our society and our economy. Let the Nation awake and protect our tribal brethren and the national media stop distorting the facts.

Ashok Sahu, IPS (Retd.) Former Inspector General of Police

Trauma in ashram, schoolgirls witnessed Swami’s murder by Christian terrorists

Trauma in ashram, schoolgirls witnessed Swami’s murder
Ravik Bhattacharya, Indian Express
Posted online: Friday, August 29, 2008 at 0127 hrs

Jelaspota (Orissa), August 28: While violence rages across Kandhamal district, in the ashram, where its spark was lit when Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati and four others were killed on August 24, the adults are angry, the children traumatised.

Many of the 130 girls in the Kanya Ashram, a residential school on the campus, were eyewitnesses to the killing of the VHP leader and that incident has burnt memories they will never forget.

“First, we thought someone is bursting crackers and so we ran towards the main gate. Then we saw and heard people screaming and running. There was blood all over the place. Swamiji and Mataji and others were lying in blood. I shouted and ran away, we all started running here and there,” said 15-year old Anita Pradhan. She is from Raikia and has been in the ashram for three years.

According to Anita, it was around 7 in the evening, prayer time in the students’ quarters. Swamiji and Mataji Bhaktimoyee, head of the girls hostel, were inside Swamiji’s room adjacent to the main entrance.

According to eyewitnesses, 10 to 15 men climbed the wall and started firing indiscriminately. They first shot dead Amritanandji, a disciple of Swamiji. The attackers then entered a small room, home to Prabhati Ganta, the guardian of one of the students who was living there. They shot him, too. Later, Kishore Baba, a resident of Boudh, was shot just outside this room.

It was then that they broke open Saraswati’s room. “Swamiji ran into the toilet to save himself and shut the door. Mataji, who hid behind the door, was shot first. The miscreants then broke open the toilet door and sprayed bullets,” said an eyewitness.

Vijaylaxmi Mullick, a Class X student at the ashram, is too traumatised to narrate the incident. Her voice trembles and falters as she remembers. “I rushed towards the main gate along with others only to see some men running around and loud cracking noise. I heard the cries of Swamiji and others. I saw other Swamijis running here and there. I was scared and ran inside the hostel room with another girl. We sat huddled together. Until after a long time, one of the Swamijis came and escorted us out of the room.”

Kusum Pradhan, a Class 6 student, could not venture out of her hostel room after dark following the incident. “I too rushed out after hearing the noise. I saw bodies lying in blood. I touched Swamiji’s feet, who was lying in the bathroom. It was still warm but he did not move. Nor did Mataji, who lay inside the room,” was all Kusum could say.

The 130 girls, who now reside inside the hostels of the sprawling ashram, now cannot venture out. The ashram is guarded by CRPF and Orissa police constables. The girls’ relatives are unable to visit the ashram and take them home because of the violence and the ongoing curfew in the district.

Brahmachari Shankar Chaitanya, who is now in charge of the ashram and is always escorted by police constables and CRPF personnel, seethes with anger against both Christians and the state government. “We had written 30 times to the state government that Swamiji’s and our lives were at stake, that we were being threatened by Christian leaders. Before the incident, we got a letter threatening to kill Swamiji. We formally complained to the police and district authorities. They sent only four baton-wielding constables,” said Shankar Chaitanya. “Not a single minister visited us after the incident, not even of our BJP. The Collector comes sometimes. He gave us rice, dal and sugar for the children.”

Chaitanya alleged that it was Christians, not Maoists, who were responsible for the incident. “The Maoists can never do this. It is Christians who threaten us everyday and they did this,” he said. He alleged that the ashram has been kept out of the peace process. “No one called us for any meeting or to take part in any peace process. As long as are kept out, the violence will continue.”

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/354813.html

Petition against Christian Aggression in Orissa and India

Support the petition against Christian aggression in In India

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/missionaryaggression/


Maoists didn’t kill VHP leader, Christian missionaries conspired and executed the Murder

The truth is Maoist Christians were involved in the brutal murder. This  video documentary (18 minutes) by NDTV on Kandhamal violence gives enough proof

‘Maoists didn’t kill VHP leader’
31 Aug 2008, 0348 hrs IST,TNN

BHUBANESHWAR: Inmates of Chakapada ashram have dismissed claims that Maoists had a hand in the killing of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati.

“I have been working in Kandhmal for the past 28 years. I know what’s going on in this district,” said Laxminarayan Nanda, a teacher at the ashram-run school.

“Christian missionaries conspired and executed the murder of Swamiji. Swamiji was opposing religious conversion by Christians. Swamiji was not against any religion, but was against proselytisation and cow slaughter,” he said.

“The government and media are giving a Maoist colour to the killing. Maoists never have had any problem with Swamiji or with Hindus. Why should they even think of harming someone who had dedicated his life for the uplift of the poor? Fake letters and posters claiming extremists’ involvement are being circulated to divert attention from the real killers,” said school’s headmaster Jagabandhu Das.

Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, A Man with a Mission

Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, A Man with a Mission
Orissa News Online
News of Orissa and Oriya People
Monday, August 25, 2008

Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, who was killed by unknown assailants at Jaleshpata Kanya Ashram on Saturday night, was a man of strong determination and ideology. His message was loud and clear – “Believe in your religion, don’t disband it”. He never used double standards. He preached what he believed and always stuck to that.

Swami Laxmanananda (80) was a native of Gurujanga village in Talcher. Over four decades ago, he denounced marital life and became a saint. He left his wife and son (who was just one year old) and moved to Kandhamal, which became his “Karma Bhumi”. Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati set up an Ashram at Chakapada in 1960s. He had chosen Kandhamal, as the tribal-dominated district was under attack from Christian missionaries, who were allegedly indulged in mass conversion of tribals and scheduled caste people by luring them with money and other facilities.

The situation was so bad in Kandhamal (then Phulbani) district that Orissa government had to enact the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act to prevent rampant religious conversions. Laxamanananda worked hard for the upliftment of tribals and scheduled caste people in that area. He established several Ashrams and promoted education among the poor. He also set up orphanages and educational institutions.

Since he successfully stopped the conversion among tribals and poor and vehemently opposed cow-slaughter, the Christian extremists always targeted him. He had survived at least nine attempts on his life including a murderous attempt in December 2007. The district administration failed to provide adequate security to Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, even though there was always a threat to his life.

While we pay tearful homage to Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, we hope that his work and belief will continue to show right path to people in Kandhamal and other parts of the state. Long live Swami Laxmananada Saraswati!



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