Leaders of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday criticised the Orissa government for failing to arrest main culprits behind murder of VHP leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati and four of his associates even after three years.

This criticism was made during a rally and public meeting organised by the VHP in Phulbani, district headquarter of Kandhamal on Thursday. It coincided with the third anniversary of killing of the VHP leader and his associates at Jalaspata on Aug 23, 2008. Apart from VHP leaders it was also attended by several BJP leaders including State vice president of the party Ashok Sahu. Sangh Parivar activists from different parts of the State and parts of Kandhamal had taken part in this rally.

The rally moved around the Phulbani town and culminated at coronation ground where public meeting was held. They also handed over a memorandum addressed to president of India to the district administration. The memorandum contained six points which were highlighted during the public meeting. These demands included arrest of killers and conspirators of murder of Swami Lakshmanananda, CBI enquiry to be ordered into the incident of killing, check on religious conversion, investigation of funding and activities of foreign funded NGOs in Kandhamal, measures to check issue of fake tribal caste certificates, and strict laws to end cow slaughter.

Adequate security had been arranged for the rally and public meeting, Kandhamal SP Jayanarayan Pankaj said. But he claimed that situation in Kandhamal had changed as warring communities had realized value of peace and harmony. It may be noted that Maoists are alleged to have murdered the VHP leader along with his four associates on the day of Janmashtami at his Jalaspata ashram on Aug 23, 2008.