Odisha BJP leader ends fast after five days

Bhubaneswar, Aug 29 : Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Ashok Sahu, who went on a hunger strike demanding action in the murder of a Hindu leader in Odisha five years ago, Thursday broke his five-day fast.

"I broke my fast after requests from senior party leaders," Sahu told IANS.

"My sincere thanks to all my friends and well-wishers for their concern. My fight for truth and justice will continue," he said.

The 60-year-old leader, a former Assam cadre Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, had launched the protest at Phulbani town in Kandhamal district, about 200 km from here.

After a cardiac problem, he was shifted to the Sriram Chandra Bhanja medical college and hospital, the state's leading government hospital at Cuttack.

Although he continued his fast in the intensive care unit of the hospital, BJP leaders in the past few days persuaded him to call off the fast over health concerns.

Sahu has been demanding the arrest of the main accused and all those who conspired in the killing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and his four aides in Kandhamal Aug 23, 2008.

The murders had triggered widespread communal violence, in which at least 38 people were killed.

Several people were arrested in connection with the crime and a chargesheet was filed the following year. But Sahu has alleged that the main accused and all those who conspired in the killing were still at large.

--IANS (Posted on 29-08-2013)

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