Truth is coming out, gradually unravelling all the state-created mysteries and dispelling the confusion regarding the murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and Vanvasi unrest in the troubled Kandhamal district. It is the time for inquiry by the special inquiry commission headed by a former judge of Orissa High Court and former Lokpal of Orissa, Justice Sarat Chandra Mohapatra.
The then top cop of Orissa, Shri GC Nanda (as he was at the time of Swamiji’s murder) has courageously deposed some revealing facts before the commission, which he had suppressed while he was in the uniform.
“We had information that Swami Saraswati was under threat from some quarters. But we did not have information that he was on the target of Maoists, so the security provided wasn’t of the scale to counter such an attack,” said Shri Nanda contradicting his earlier statement given at 9.30 pm on August 23, 2008, when Swamiji was murdered. In the same night and afterwards, Shri Nanda had categorically stated that the murder had been committed by Maoists and the state government had no prior information regarding the same. It may be recalled here that in the night of Swamiji’s murder, his Personal Security Officer (PSO) was withdrawn from duty by the police administration, though there was a serious threat to Swami Laxmanananda’s life and the same was reported to the local police. If this present statement of Shri Nanda is to be believed, then it is a matter of utter surprise as to why he had been giving false and confusing statements and that too, at the instance of whom? Was he trying to save somebody?
Likewise, former District Collector of Kandhamal district, Shri Gangadhar Singh said unlawful conversions had taken place in Kandhamal district without following the statutory provisions of the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act (OFRA), 1967.
Shri Singh, while appearing before the commission informed that till January 2, 2004, the district administration had received only two informations regarding conversions. According to him, illegal conversions without following the provisions of OFRA were done, though he refused to agree that such conversions took place on a large scale.
Shri Singh, who was the Collector of Kandhamal from September 15, 2004, to October 3, 2007, disclosed that during his tenure nobody was ever prosecuted under OFRA. In cross-examination, he said there is massive encroachment of government lands, including forest lands, in the district, but he did not say anything about whether any church has been constructed illegally on such encroached government lands.
Shri Singh, in his affidavit submitted to the commission, also stated that as the Collector he had received oral complaints relating to illegal transportation of cattle and cases of fake caste certificates. But he avoided questions regarding what actions were taken in those cases. It is a fact that now the authorities concerned are admitting illegal proselytisation, cattle slaughter and encroachment of government forest lands, which they had been neglecting to sort out.
Kandhamal is a shining example of the casualty of truth caused by the fraternity of power-centre and English media, hand in glove with some unconfirmed forces. The probe is unveiling the truth, the bitter truth-why, how and by whom Swami Laxmanananda was murdered.