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Hindu groups condemn junior seer’s arrest

Monday 10 January 2005

NEW DELHI: Expressing shock at the arrest of Vijayendra Saraswathi, the junior seer of the Kanchipuram mutt, Hindu organisations on Monday accused the Tamil Nadu government of waging a "war" against the monastery.

"It is clear the state government is waging a war against the mutt and is trying to end a more than 2,000 year-old tradition," Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) spokesman Ram Madhav told reporters here.

"What was the need to arrest the junior seer on the very day his senior was granted bail by the Supreme Court," asked Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Pravin Togadia.

"Is there no one to protect us (Hindus)," he wondered aloud, reacting to the sudden arrest of Vijayendra Saraswathi on the charge of ordering the murder of Kanchipuram temple official A Sankararaman.

Vijayendra Saraswathi was arrested from the mutt in Kanchipuram, hours after his senior was granted bail on Monday, also in the case relating to the murder of Sankararaman.

Madhav contended the arrest of the junior seer would scuttle the Trikala Puja (prayers) that has been offered continuously at the mutt for the past 2,500 years.

Referring to the Supreme Court’s condition while granting bail to senior pontiff Jayendra Saraswathi that he should not visit the mutt until investigation was completed, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Sushma Swaraj said: "The senior seer cannot go to the mutt and the junior has been arrested. Who will conduct the puja ?"

"It is a violation of human, cultural and religious rights," said BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

The Tamil Nadu government was carrying out a vendetta against the mutt, Swaraj claimed, accusing the central government of remaining a silent spectator to the drama.

See online : Times of India

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