Chargesheet Filed in Saraswati Murder Case

Chargesheet Filed in Saraswati Murder Case
Indicating active involvement of Maoist elements in the killing of VHP leader Laxamananda Saraswati and four others, the Crime Branch (CB) of Orissa police has submitted chargesheet against seven accused.

The chargesheet, filed in the court of sub-divisional judicial magistrate, Baliguda in Kandhamal district four months after the killing, said Maoist leaders had formed a local militia involving villagers for the crime.

While local people executed the crime, the Maoist leaders planned and monitored the entire episode, it said.

The investigating agency mentioned in its chargesheet that a conspiracy was hatched much before the killing took place on August 23, 2008.

The chargesheet, however, did not mention name of any Maoist leader or the people behind the conspiracy.

In order to get more information about the conspiracy, the CB has sought early dates from the State Forensic Science Laboratory (SFSL), Bangalore, for conducting brain mapping test on the accused persons, one of whom is a Maoist cadre.

The charges were framed under section 302 (murder), 449 (trespass to commit offence), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and other sections of the IPC and section 25 and 27 of the Arms Act.
The accused are Budhadev Naik, Duryodhan Sana Majhi, Munda Bada Majhi, Sanatan Bada Majhi, Gananath Seth, Bijay Kumar Sana Seth and Bhaskar Sanamajhi, all residents of Kandhamal district.

Saraswati and his four associates including a 'sanyasin' were shot dead by gunmen when they were celebrating 'Janmastami' festival at Jalespeta ashram in Kandhamal district on August 23, 2008.

Though the Sangh Parivar has rejected involvement of Maoists behind Saraswati's killing, Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda had openly claimed responsibility for the crime.

Besides about 270 odd pages of chargesheet including annexures, the CB produced inquest, post-mortem reports, a CD and an audio cassette supporting its claim of Maoist involvement in the case.

The killing of Saraswati sparked widespread violence across the state mostly in Kandhamal claiming at least 40 lives besides causing destruction of hundreds of houses belonging to minority Christian community and attack on churches.

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