Phulbani: Well-known ascetic and spiritual leader Swami Lakshmanananda Saraswati’s 10th death anniversary was observed by his followers and disciples Sunday morning amidst high alert and security.
The death anniversary memoriam was organized by ‘Jalespata Kanya Ashram’ and ‘Chakapad Gurukula Sanskruti Bidyalaya’. Disciples offered rituals and heart-felt prayers to the departed soul and sought his blessings.
Total nine platoons of police force have been deployed at various parts of the district with one platoon each at the ashrams to avoid any violence that may break out this sensitive day. The police administration beefed up security across Kandhamal to avoid any untoward incident on the auspicious occasion of Janmashtami of Lord Krishna.
“Each police station has been put on alert and senior police officials have been assigned to monitor the death anniversary programme. No toward incident of violence has been reported from any part. A strict vigil has been has been kept on Maoist activities,” said Superintendent of police Prateek Singh.
According to reports, vehicles entering the district were also frisked and all police stations have been kept on alert to monitor Maoist activities.
Notably, Hindu monk Swami Lakshmanananda and four of his disciples were killed on August 23 (on Janmashtami night), 2008 in a gunfire that was allegedly carried out by Christian assailants.
Following the assassination, communal riots had broken out in the district which killed 39 people and left hundreds injured. Houses were rampaged, women and little girls were raped, and survivors of the riots still fear their lives.
Such sensitive condition continued for months in the district and 10 years later today, Kandhamal still struggles to rise from the ashes and forget the dark communal past.