Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati along with other people including a Sadhvi were brutally killed on August 23, 2008. It is alleged that it was a contract killing, as the naxalites were hired by missionaries, and were responsible for the brutal murder. I want to know from the Home Minister, whether the naxalites were paid certain amount to kill Swamiji and others in Kandhamal, Orissa? The Home Minister had visited Kandhamal twice after the incident. Can you please clarify whether there was any unholy alliance between the missionaries and the naxalites? The missionaries, who are working in Kandhamal, are involved in unlawful activities. Even during the last elections in the month of May 2009, Home Minister Shri Chidambaram visited Kandhamal. And then in the month of April, a candidate of Samrudha Orissa, a regional political party, was murdered in Malkanigiri, by cutting his throat.
These were the focussed questions asked by Shri Rudra Narayan Pani, MP, in Upper House. These were supplementary questions, asked by Shri Pani, in addition to his questions related to naxal-affected districts of Orissa and actions of the Central Government on this vital issue. But Shri Chidambaram instead of giving direct answer to these questions related to the murder of Swami Laxmanananda, gave a political statement that Shri Pani want to provoke him by asking these questions.
The Home Minister told the Upper House, “I have no difficulty in answering that question. But, I think the supplementary simply intends to provoke me; I am not going to be provoked.”
Swamiji was a respected saint especially in the entire Vanvasi region of Kandhamal and the whole state. There are many unanswered questions regarding the murder of
Swamiji. But for Shri Chidambaram, investigation and reason of the murder of Swamiji is irrelivant. He was only concerned for the minority Christian community in the Kandhamal, whereas Shri Pani had questioned the unlawful activities of the missionaries in Kandhamal. Shri Chidambaram informed the House, “I am not going to be provoked. Fact remains that Kandhamal was a blot on the face of Orissa. It is a shame for the minority community that the minority community was… (interruptions). I have visited Kandhamal”.
The Home Minister can visit Kandhamal twice to meet few minority community people, but never bothered to meet the hundreds of hopeless boys and girls, for whom Swamiji was like a God. One can understand the compulsions of Chidambaram, as he belongs to a party whose chief is Smt Sonia Gandhi. Smt Sonia Gandhi-led Government had already given Padma Award to the wife of Graham Stein, who has already left India, as their activities have been exposed in the public. But she is from a community that has a big say in the Government at the Centre.
When Shri Vinay Katiyar, another MP in Rajya Sabha, intervened in the discussion and asked the Home Minister to reply the question concerning the murder of Swami Laxmanananda, angered Chidambaram, forgetting that he was not the Chairman of the House but Home Minister, said to Shri Katiyar, “You don’t have the permission of the Chair to speak. Why are you speaking? Nothing is going on record. Why are you speaking?…interruptions. First you must take the permission of the Chair to speak.” One can understand the compulsion of Shri Chidambaram. And then the Speaker of the House intervened. Shri Katiyar again requested through the Chair to reply, “Whether the missionaries have any link with the naxalites”?
Again on the request of the Chair in the House, the Home Minister replied a political answer as suits to his party and said, “If they wish to put a question on Kandhamal riots, I will certainly very happy to answer that. Come August 23, it will be one year since that incident took place”. Again the Home Minister missed the point that on August 23, Swamiji was murdered, Kandhamal riot errupted only after that. And why is he mum on Swamiji’s murder and concerned only for a particular community? Any way the majority community of this country can wait for another few days that is August 23.
Intervening in the discussion, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu, MP, told the House, “The Home Minister unnecessarily made a political comment which is not expected from him. Even about Kandhamal, if it is a shame, it is a shame. I would like him (Home Minister) to know that the Mahapatra Committee appointed by the Government, has opined that religious conversions are the reasons for what has happened in Kandhamal. You just simply ommited it. But I am very clear, sir, one of the leaders addressed a press conference-I do not know whether it has come to the notice of the Home Minister-and said, “The naxalites are influenced, because most of the people of one particular community are working for us. We have done it at the behest of those people.” He added that this statement was given by naxal leader Sabyasachi Panda.