Skip to main content

Kanchi Shankaracharya arrested

In a sensational development, Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati, was last night arrested as the prime accused in the murder of an official of a famous temple in Kanchipuram.

The 60-year-old senior pontiff of the Kanchi Matth, whom the Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu accused of having considerable clout over the AIADMK Government, was arrested at 10 p.m. in Mehboobnagar in Andhra Pradesh by a special team from Tamil Nadu armed with an arrest warrant.

"Thiru (Sri Jayendra Swamigal Saraswathi of Kanchipuram Sankara Matth) was arrested at 10 p.m. last night at Mehboobnagar in Andhra Pradesh as one of the prime accused in a case relating to murder of Thiru Sankararaman, manager of Varadaraja Perumal temple in Kanchipuram on 3.9.2004. "The police team from Tamil Nadu, which went to Andhra Pradesh, secured Sri Jayendra Swamigal at Mehboobnagar and was being brought to Chennai to be produced before Judicial Magistrate - 1, Kanchipuram," a brief press release issued by the I K Govind, Director General of Police, said.

The arrest is understood to have been made on the basis of statements made by five people who were earlier held in connection with the murder.

The Kanchi Shankaracharya, who has considerable influence with political leaders cutting across party lines, was in the limelight in the last two years of the NDA rule, acting as a go-between with Muslim leaders and Hindu organisations in the Ayodhya issue.

The murder issue had become a political controversy with the main Opposition party DMK announcing an agitation while accusing the State Government of inaction despite information about the persons involved in the murder.

In the politics of Tamil Nadu, dominated by Dravidian parties espousing rationalist policies, Jayalalithaa was accused by the Opposition of running the Government on the advise of the Kanchi Shankaracharya.

The arrest of Shankaracharya in Mehboobnagar, 90 km. from Hyderabad, was preceded by high drama. A police team, comprising fully armed commandos and led by Superintendent of Police Elangovan, first went in an Cessna aircraft to Bangalore on information that he was there but later left for Hyderabad and went to Mehboobnagar by road to arrest him. The Shankaracharya was at that time performing a 'Trikal Puja'.

Accompanied by an Andhra Pradesh police team, the Tamil Nadu team explained to Shankaracharya the case and took him to custody.

Earlier another police team, headed by Additional DGP K V S Murthy, had also left by air to Bangalore.

There were reports that Shankaracharya's brother and another person have also been arrested. However, there was no confirmation yet.

Jayendra Saraswati had created a controversy over 10 years back by disappearing suddenly from the Math. He was later traced to Tala Cauvery in Coorg district in Karnataka.


Popular posts from this blog

Arundhati Roy: The 2004 Sydney Peace Prize lecture

The 2004 Sydney Peace Prize lecture delivered by Arundhati Roy, at the Seymour Theatre Centre, University of Sydney.

Peace & The New Corporate Liberation Theology

It's official now. The Sydney Peace Foundation is neck deep in the business of gambling and calculated risk. Last year, very courageously, it chose Dr Hanan Ashrawi of Palestine for the Sydney Peace Prize. And, as if that were not enough, this year - of all the people in the world - it goes and chooses me!

However I'd like to make a complaint. My sources inform me that Dr Ashrawi had a picket all to herself. This is discriminatory. I demand equal treatment for all Peace Prizees. May I formally request the Foundation to organize a picket against me after the lecture? From what I've heard, it shouldn't be hard to organize. If this is insufficient notice, then tomorrow will suit me just as well.

When this year's Sydney Peace Prize was announced, I was subjected to some pretty arch remarks from those who k…

Thirst for blood and oil

There is a war going on in the Middle East; one in Iraq and the other in Lebanon. It is a war against innocent civilian population, played out by faceless enemies of humanity. Is it only a war in the name of religion, gods, and land? It is also a war in the name of black gold – OIL!

The United States and Britain are only too happy to occupy Iraq and see various parts of it blow up. Iraq's sin is that it has a lot of Oil. But, then, Iraqis are not enough educated and sophisticated people to understand that no one really cares about whether it is Shia oil or Sunni oil. It is a crying shame that Iraqis kill each other in the name of the two factions of Islam – again their only reason for killing is to set the supremacy – and to gain power. Saddam knew too well that Oil was more powerful than anything else in today's world. And Oil is the very reason why he was toppled and put behind bars. It wasn't Saddam's Human Rights violations that the Western governments were too con…