Slain VHP leader Laxamananda Saraswati had enemies though police had no input indicating threat to the seer’s life from Maoists, the commission probing his killing and subsequent violence was informed on Tuesday.

“Saraswati had rivals for his activities in Kandhamal. He was therefore, provided with security since 2003,” the Orissa DGP, Manmohan Praharaj, had told the probe panel during examination.

Justice S C Mohapatra, who heads the commission, said during examination of several senior police officers he came to know that though there was threat perception on Saraswati from rival groups, no one had information of any threat to Laxmananda from Maoists.

In the absence of Maoist threat, the security for Saraswati was not made to counter an extremist attack, former DGP G C Nanda had told the commission of inquiry during his examination.

“That Saraswati had rivals would help me in the probe,” Mohapatra said adding the VHP leader was provided with security which was reviewed from time to time.

Saraswati’s killing on August 23, 2008, had sparked off large-scale communal violence in Kandhamal and other parts of the state leading to the murder of at least 40 people.