Bhubaneswar: Two days after Hindu Jagaran Samukhya (HJS) circulated documents alleging that the conspiracy to eliminate the VHP leader Laxamananda Saraswati was hatched at Bethikala church in Kandhamal, Christian leaders in Orissa Thursday announced they would take the matter to court.
"We will file both civil and criminal defamation cases against the person who made such allegations," Christian leaders including Father Joseph Kalathil, Cicar General, Archbishop House here, Rev Fr Prafulla Ku Sabhapati, President of Bethikala Parish Council, Kandhamal and Prafulla Ku Nayak, General Secretary Bethikala Parish Coul, Kandhamal, told reporters here.
Both the President and General Secretary of Bethikala Church also alleged that their signatures in the documents circulated by the HJS leader were "forged."
"Not only our signatures were forged, the contents of the document were also fabricated," Nayak and Father Sabhapati claimed.
"We strongly condemn this attitude of the Hindu fundamentalist organisations attempting to drag Christians and the church into the crime purposefully by fanning elements of hate to sustain the campaign against Christians," they said in a joint statement.
Terming the HJS's move as an attempt to "reignite" violence in Kandhamal which had been showing declining trend, the leaders said that no meeting was held at Bethikala Church as claimed by the HJS state President Ashok Sahu.
Sahu earlier had told reporters that the plan to kill Saraswati was made at a meeting at Bethikela Church on May 25, 2008 and attended by 17 persons following a brief and command from religious leaders.