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Probe if seer's arrest is linked to 'private grievance': Venkataraman

Probe if seer's arrest is linked to 'private grievance': Venkataraman

Publication: UNI
Date: November 23, 2004

Former president R Venkataraman sought a probe into the  arrest of Kanchi Shankaracharya and said the inquiry should unearth if  'private grievance' was the motive for the treatment meted out to the  seer.

Addressing a meeting of the BJP agitators, he said it was  necessary for the government to ascertain if there was any 'ulterior  motive' behind the arrest of the Jayendra Saraswati, who happened to be  the 69th head of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetha, which has at least 2000 years  of history.

It was all well known that an accused is 'presumed innocent' until  a charge-sheet is filed by the court but the seer was treated like a  'criminal' from day one. "This has caused pain and anguish not just in  Tamil Nadu but India and abroad", he said adding that this deserves to  be protested.

The observations of the former president assumed significance in  Tamil Nadu politics and indicated soured relation with Chief Minister J  Jayalalithaa.

Recalling the previous Kanchi Acharya, who lived for a full 100  years, Venkataraman said when he died there, mourners included several  Christian nuns and Muslim believers in the tradition of the mutt.

The seer had never allowed the mosque in front of the Kanchi mutt  to be razed during the British administration. Whenever there were  prayers, he used to discontinue his discourse and continue after the  sayings were completed, the former president said.

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