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VHP has no role in Kandhamal clashes: Togadia

Source: PTI
September 02, 2008 21:33 IST
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The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Tuesday said it has no role in the ongoing communal clashes in Orissa's Kandhamal district that have erupted since the killing of its leader Swamy Laxmanananda Saraswati.

"It is a fight between the tribals and the Christians and the VHP has had no role to play in the clash," VHP General Secretary Praveen Togadia told media persons in Raipur.

After the local kandh tribes were subjected to atrocities and their lands forcibly used to construct churches, they came out openly against the Church, Togadia said, adding that the latter should reflect on why the locals have hit the streets against them if they have been rendering services to them.

To a question, he clarified that the VHP has had no role to play in the current unrest in Orissa as it does not believe in violence.

Blaming Christians for the killing of Laxmanananda, he said naxalites are not behind the killing as policemen were present when bullets were sprayed on him.

"Had they been Maoists, the government security forces would not have been spared," he said.

"Swamiji had earlier expressed apprehensions that he might be killed by the Christian community," Togadia claimed.

"After the December 2007 riots, police had recovered 18 automatic weapons from the houses of members of the Christian community in Kandhamal district," he said.
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