About 18 months after the communal violence in Kandhamal, VHP today claimed it was in no way involved in the bloodbath and opposed recent visit of European Union diplomats to the district.
"VHP was in no way involved in the riots. Members of the entire tribal community in Kandhamal were followers of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati. His killing sparked anger among the local people leading to violence," VHP's international president Ashok Singhal said today.
Terming Saraswati as a 'maha sant' (great saint), Singhal called upon media not to project the slain seer simply as a VHP leader. "Rather, Saraswati should be described as something more than a VHP leader," he said.
Admitting that Saraswati was a member of VHP's 'Marg Darshk Mandali', Singhal said he was a "guide" for all the Hindu leaders.
Opposing the recent visit of diplomats from nine European countries, he said there was no need to allow them to interfere in the internal matters of the country.
"They (diplomats) had rather come to verify use of their funds in converting people in Kandhamal," Singhal alleged claiming that the visit was aimed to spoil prevailing social harmony in the riot-hit Kandhamal.