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Maoists didn't kill Saraswati, claims VHP
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September 01, 2008 23:57 IST

Expressing doubts over the Maoists' claim of having killed leader Lakshmananda Saraswati, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Monday insisted that 'a sect of Christians' was behind the murder that has sparked widespread rioting in Orissa.

'50,000 Christians still hiding in Orissa forests'

VHP General Secretary Pravin Togadia said his organisation and the Maoists have no reasons for confrontation and the Maoists could have made the claims under 'Communist Influence' to divert attention.

"It is politically motivated, probably under pressure from other Communist parties, which share similar ideology with the Maoists," he said and added, "A particular sect of the Christian community is behind the murder."

Pix: Normalcy returns in Orissa, scars remain

His allegations came a day after Maoists issued a statement, claiming responsibility for Lakshmananda's killing and threatening more attacks on the VHP if they targeted minorities.

Seeking to justify his argument about the non-involvement of Maoists in Lakshmananda's murder, Togadia said, "The extremists are known to target the police but when the VHP functionary was killed, his two police escorts were left unharmed by the masked attackers."

Who killed Lakshmananda?

He also claimed that the VHP has never received any threats from the Maoists in the area or tribal belts elsewhere.

Togadia claimed that the Maoist party statement is meant to 'divert the issue on the insistence of other Communist parties based on similar ideological standing'.

What is wrong in Kandhamal?

When pointed out that the Orissa government also has blamed the Maoists for the killing, the VHP leader said, "It is easy to blame the Maoists for anything in the state... It is much like blaming the black sheep in the family and diverting attention from the real culprits."

"VHP is not against all Christians, but just one particular section of missionaries who are inciting sectarian violence in the area," he added.

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