Asking the Orissa government to order an expeditious probe into the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four others in Kandhamal district, senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader L K Advani [Images] on Sunday expressed outrage over the incident.
In a statement, Advani said he was hopeful that the Biju Janata Dal-BJP coalition in Orissa would "conduct a thorough investigation, identify the perpetrators of this crime and punish the guilty".
High alert in Orissa after violence
Stating that he shared the outrage of the people of Orissa for this 'dastadly crime', Advani said, "The fact that he was assassinated on the auspicious day of Janmashtami while celebrating the festival, reveals an ominous motive behind the incident, suspected to have been committed by Maoists."
The Orissa government on Sunday suspended two officials, including a Superintendent of Police, in the wake of the killings
Sources in the chief minister's office said SP Nikhil Kanodia was placed under suspension with immediate effect.
The 2003 batch IPS officer, who had taken over as SP of the communally sensitive district after the riots in December, 2007, was suspended for failing to provide adequate security to Saraswati despite threat perception.
Naxals attack ashram in Orissa, kill 5
Kanodia was the second police officer to face the axe after the suspension of officer in-charge of Tumudibandha police station Madhusudan Jena Samant on charge of dereliction of duty.
An FIR had been lodged with the police at Tumudibandh on Friday, on behalf of the Ashram, apprehending threat to Laxmanananda Saraswati and seeking security for him after a threat letter was received.
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