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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Odisha government opposes CBI inquiry into Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati murder case

Orissa High Court, on January 2, issued notice to state government during hearing of petition filed by advocate Debasis Hota, seeking CBI probe into murder of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his disciples in Kandhamal district

Subhashish Mohanty Bhubaneswar Published 07.03.24, 06:28 AM
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Representational image File picture

The Odisha government has opposed the CBI inquiry into the Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati murder case and petitioned the court to dismiss the plea for a CBI investigation with exemplary costs.

In its affidavit, the Odisha government highlighted that the Laxmanananda Saraswati murder case had concluded with the conviction of the accused individuals by the additional session judge, Phulbani. “The accused individuals have filed appeals before the high court, which are currently pending,” the affidavit stated.

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“The prayer for the CRLMP (criminal miss petition) may be dismissed with exemplary costs in light of the aforementioned facts and circumstances,” the state government emphasised.

Orissa High Court, on January 2, issued a notice to the state government during a hearing of a petition filed by advocate Debasis Hota, seeking a CBI probe into the murder of VHP leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four of his disciples in Kandhamal district over 15 years ago. The incident occurred at Jalespata Ashram in Kandhamal on August 23, 2008, the day of Janmashtami.

Hota contested the Odisha government’s stance, filing an affidavit opposing the contents of the government’s submission.

Hota said: “The state government has not disclosed the number of convictions. Our concern does not lie with the convictions but with the investigations conducted by various state agencies.”

Describing the murder as state-sponsored, Hota said: “The government attempted to attribute the murder to Maoists, concealing the true motives behind it. We seek to unveil this mystery, and only a CBI investigation can reveal the truth.”

In his affidavit, Hota challenged the investigations conducted by different state agencies, alleging that the Odisha government has failed to disclose the reports of the judicial commission even after 14 years.

He urged: “In the pursuit of justice, fairness and equity, this grave matter should be entrusted to an independent agency — the CBI — to conduct an inquiry and uncover the true perpetrators behind the premeditated murder of Swami
Laxmanananda Saraswati.”

The next hearing is scheduled for March 13.

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