Bhubaneswar : Almost three years after senior VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati was killed along with four of his associates by a group of 40-odd assailants in Kandhamal district of Orissa, the police on Monday submitted its final chargesheet against seven Maoists but failed to explain why he was killed.
The police had filed its first chargesheet against seven tribal/Dalit Christians in a Kandhamal court in January 30, 2009. On Monday, it filed its second and final chargesheet against senior Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda and six others.
The other six are Udaya alias Pulari Rama Rao, Jadu alias Somanath Dandasena, Azad alias Dona Keshava Rao, Dasru alias Dasanna, Lalu and Lakhmu alias Madan. Among the seven named, only two have been arrested. Panda has been described as the mastermind of the operation.
In the first chargesheet, the police had named Duryodhan Sunamajhi, Munda Badamajhi, Sanatana Badamajhi, Bijay Sanseth, Gananath Chalanseth, Bhaskar Sunamajhi and Budhdev Naik.
Saraswati, 82, was shot dead in August, 2008.
His associates — Kishore Baba, 45, Amritananda Baba, 62, Mata Bhaktimayee, 40, and Puranjan Ganthi, 28, the brother of a girl inmate of the tribal residential school — also fell to the bullets.
The second chargesheet, based on confessional statements of Uday and Somnath Dandsena, however, does not explain why the Maoists wanted to kill Saraswati.
All it says is how the murder was planned in the jungles of Chandrapur, a forested area in Raygada district close to Kandhamal.
Police officials say Chandrapur is the bastion of Maoists like Sabyasachi Panda alias Sunil, the head of the Basdhara division of CPI(Maoist) in Orissa.
The killing had sparked off widespread riots in Khandamal. 43 people were killed and hundreds of houses and churches were burnt down in the violence that raged for about two months.