Maoists might have killed VHP leader Laxamananda Saraswati for securing support of the minority Christians and expand their network in Orissa's Kandhamal district, the Commission probing the murder was informed in Bhubaneswar on Thursday.
"Maoists might have killed Saraswati to get the support of Christians," former Inspector in-Charge of Kotgarh police station H K Pradhan told Justice S C Mohapatra, probing the killing of Saraswati and the violence thereafter.
Noting that the minority community in Kandhamal was not accepting Saraswati's campaign against cow slaughter and religious conversion, the field level officer said many houses were set ablaze and some churches attacked in Kotgarh area a day after the killing of Saraswati on August 23, 2008.
Though no case relating to conversion was registered at the police station, Pradhan said seven people were arrested for rioting and arson. "Land dispute between tribal Kandhas and Pana Dalits added fuel to the riot." he said.
He claimed though a riot broke out in Kotgarh area, the police were not armed as all weapons were withdrawn from the police station.