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India: Church wants impartial probe of Hindu leader's slaying

Catholic World News - August 08, 2011

Catholic Church leaders in India’s eastern Orissa state have called for an “impartial investigation” into the 2008 murder of a prominent Hindu leader, which triggered a bloody campaign of violence against Christians in the state’s Kandhamal district.

“We want a truthful and impartial investigation into the killing of Swami Lakshmanananda,” Father Dibakar Parichha, secretary of the justice and peace commission of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar archdiocese that comprises Kandhamal, told CWN.

Father Parichha was reacting to the August 4 decision by Orissa’s top state court, ordering a fresh probe into the killing of the influential Hindu leader. Though Maoist rebels claimed responsibility for the murder, Hindu fundamentalist groups insisted—and continue to insist--that the murder of their leader was a Christian conspiracy. That theory has been revived by the “discovery” of a resolution, allegedly passed by a Catholic parish group, calling for the death of Lakshmanananada. Catholic Church spokesman say the resolution is a fraud.

“The church conspiracy theory and the doctored resolution have been concocted by the Hindu fundamentalists to justify the carnage,” said Father Parichha. “Only an impartial inquiry will bring out the truth.”

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