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    'Majority of Maoist supporters in Orissa are Christians'

    Bhubaneswar (PTI): Admitting that Maoist groups in Orissa derive major support from minority communities, a prominent Maoist leader has said there was reportedly pressure from both Christians and Dalits to eliminate VHP leader Laxmanananda Saraswati.

    Sabyasachi Panda alias Sunil, who met a group of journalists at an undisclosed hideout on Saturday, said Saraswati was killed as he did not pay any heed to Maoist's warning. The transcript of Panda's meeting was made available to PTI on Sunday.

    "We had asked Laxmanananda to desist from anti-Christian activities. He created a riot in December 2007 and subsequently targeted people indulging in cow slaughter," he said, adding people of both the communities were opposed to the seer. Noting that most of the cadre members and supporters in Orissa belonged to Christian community, Panda said, "It is a fact that Christians are in majority in our organisation. Our supporters in Orissa's Rayagada, Gajapati and Kandhamal also belonged to Christian community."

    The Maoist leader, however, pointed out that though Christians were major support base of the outfit in Orissa, the situation was not similar across the country. "We do not believe in any religion or are attached to any religious groups. We are not in favour of any religion," he said claiming Laxamananda was working to revive Brahminism which was almost disappearing.


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