Who Killed Swami Laxmanananda?
'Who Killed Swami Laxmanananda?' is the masterpiece of the journalist author's relentless pursuit of Truth and Justice for Kandhamal. The investigative book, with Foreword by Kuldip Nayar, patriarch of Indian Journalism, exposed the Kandhamal fraud and 'demolished' the Christian conspiracy theory.
It conclusively proved that seven innocent Christians - six of them illiterates - had been fraudulently convicted for the Swami's murder to perpetrate the Kandhamal fraud. Released in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Bangalore, Bhubaneswar etc, this book took the lid off the Kandhamal fraud.
Two honest Fast Track Court judges were transferred and a third one gave the conviction verdict which a legal luminary told me is 'written outside'. It is part of a shocking fraud planned and executed from Delhi to target Sonia Gandhi when she was UPA chairperson. Sensational evidences have been knit like a garland and presented in the investigative book that names even key conspirators in Modi government.
Propaganda DVD the RSS has produced under the name 'The Agony of Kandhamal'. It has been uploaded on the YouTube.
Shockingly, seven innocent convicts are languishing in jail for a crime they never committed. In fact, the convicted seven are the 'second batch of Swami's killers'. Within hours of Swami's murder, four Christians including a 13-year old boy were picked up by Sangh Parivar, thrashed and handed over to the police. It was Praveen Togadia who announced the names of these 'killers' and not the police.
When the police could not fix these seven, they got the second batch of killers from remote jungle. When the second Fast Track Court judge took on the prosecution, he was transferred and the Crime Branch officer who cooked up the cock and bull story was conferred ‘police medal’. Seven years after the shocking conviction, the appeal is dragging on in the Odisha High Court.
(Note: Though all the seven ‘innocents’ walked to freedom by December 2019 on bail from the Supreme Court of India, the appeal against their questionable conviction remains pending before the Odisha High Court even in 2020 – raising questions over the pressure on the judicial system.)
Kandhamal Craves for Justice
‘Kandhamal craves for Justice’ was released in New Delhi on August 23, 2013 – 5th anniversary of Kandhamal conflagration. It exposes the travesty of justice in Kandhamal– scrutinising the failure of the constitutional watchdogs like judiciary and the NHRC a from secular and human rights perspective.
When the lofty constitutional guarantees were reduced to ashes along with churches and Christian houses, the mandarins of Odisha remained mute spectators to the bravado of saffron henchmen. The zealots threatened Christians to embrace Hinduism to live in Kandhamal. The defiant ones were put to the sword, chopped into pieces, burnt alive or crushed with boulders. Kandhamal has laid bare before the nation the ugly face of Hindutva.
Amid pervasive stories of hatred, brutality, indifference, double-speak and deceit, the journalist author also brings to light how the silent majority has started speaking out ….offering a beacon of hope as reparation for the communal frenzy that has left a scar on the secular face of Mother India.
Packed with real-life stories, telling photos and incisive research inputs, the book by award-winning journalist raises uncomfortable questions on the justice delivery system and calls for national attention into the travesty of justice in Kandhamal:
- How did the mighty arms of the Secular Democratic Republic of India respond to the challenge?
- Did the judicial system falter in delivering justice?
- Why did the NHRC remain silent on the blatant human right abuses in Kandhamal?
- Was there a bigger conspiracy behind the murder in the jungle?
This book is a valuable document for all Indians as it tells the ‘true story of Kandhamal’, to quote Justice A P Shah, chairman of Law Commission of India & former chief Justice of Delhi High Court and chairman of the National People’s Tribunal on Kandhamal.
The national attention was drawn to the travesty of justice in Kandhamal by Anto’s investigative book ‘Kandhamal craves for Justice’ that was released in New Delhi on August 23, 2013 – fifth anniversary of Kandhamal conflagration.
Kandhamal: A Blot on Indian Secularism
When the national media forgot the simmering anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal jungles of Orissa from August 2008, it was Anto who stirred the national conscience with his investigative book 'Kandhamal - a blot on Indian Secularism' after repeated arduous trips to the Kandhamal jungles.
Since veteran journalist Kuldip Nayyar described the book as ‘one of the must-read books’ at its launch in New Delhi in April 2009, it has been hailed by cross sections. During the Bangalore launch, Justice M F Saldana said that given the objectivity of the book, it should be treated as an ‘official report’ of the Kandhamal violence and the government should act on it. K G Kannabiran, president of People’s Union for Civil Liberties, hailed the book as ‘a charge-sheet on Kandhamal’ during the launch in Hyderabad.
Given the impact the investigative book made, the author had a personal audience with Union Home Minister P Chidambaram. Home Minister Chidambaram not only visited Kandhamal soon after receiving the book and he even told the parliament that what happened in Kandhamal was ‘a blot on the face of Orissa’ – quoting the title of the book.
Books on Christian Witness
Early Christians of 21st Century
‘Early Christians of 21 Century - stories of incredible Christian witness from Kandhamal jungles’, released by Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for Evangelisation of People’s in February 2013, tells the incredible Christian witness amid brutal persecution. It highlights how the orchestrated violence in Kandhamal from late August 2008 was the saddest event in the history of Christianity in India. More than 100 Christians embraced martyrdom while 296 churches were desecrated and damaged, and nearly 6,000 Christian houses were plundered - rendering more than 56,000 Christians homeless during weeks of unabated violence.
With saffron foot-soldiers insisting on thousands of Christians to forsake faith to set foot in their native villages, refugee Christians turned their 'losses into gains'. They chose to languish in dingy slums than to turn their back to Christ and gave sterling testimony as true followers of Christ who gladly carried the cross without running away from it. History repeats itself. Like the 'Early Christians', the poor but valiant Christians of Kandhamal sacrificed everything for their faith amid brutal persecution and carved out the most glorious moment since Apostle St. Thomas sowed the seeds of Christianity in India. Astounded by the amazing witness, even the assailants are now flocking to churches to profess the faith they tried to banish from Kandhamal.
The rock-like faith of even illiterate Christians inspired the journalist to make 18 arduous trips Kandhamal to document the incredible testimony of the zealous Christians surviving on empty stomachs amid burnt churches and plundered houses gathering moss. By holding on to their faith amid diabolic cruelty, rampant impunity and state apathy, the author aptly calls Kandhamal Christians 'Early Christians of 21st Century'.
While Cardinal Telesphore Toppo, CCBI president, has described the book as ‘inspirational and prophetic in the Year of Faith’, Rev Roger Gaikwad, general secretary of the NCCI (National Council of Churches in India) calls it “a well documented book that highlights how Christians bravely face persecution, live and die for their faith.”
Shining Faith in Kandhamal
After laying bare before the nation the ‘true story’ of Kandhamal as ‘The Hindu’ remarked, Anto’s second book on Kandhamal titled ‘Shining Faith in Kandhamal’ was released during the Catholic Mission Congress in Mumbai in October 2009.
Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil, Major Archbishop and president of Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) in his ‘Foreword’ to the book described it as ‘A Book of Revelation’. “Shining Faith in Kandhamal reveals a true journalist who cannot remain a mute spectator in the face of inhuman atrocities. Love and responsibility for one’s fellowmen finds expression in concern for the truth,” pointed out Cardinal Vithayathil