Monday, November 15, 2004

Rightists protest, Dalits hail Shankaracharya's arrest

Amritsar/ Bangalore/ Dehradun, Nov 15 (ANI): The saga of protests and demonstrations against the arrest of Kanchi Shankaracharya Jyanendra Saraswati continued today.

While, many rightist organisations came out in the open for the seer's support, Dalits in Bangalore hailed the arrest saying that no concession should be extended and no undue favours should be made for him.

In Amritsar the state wing of Shiv Sena set ablaze the effigy of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and DMK chief and Tamil Nadu Opposition leader M. Karunanidhi in protest against the seer's arrest. They demanded immediate release of seer.

SS district president Baldev Bhardwaj alleged that the Centre had committed a "blunder" by arresting Shankracharya which, he said, "wouldn't be tolerated".

He added that his party would continue its agitation in Shankracharya's support till he was released. He also issued a warning that they would go up to any extent to safeguard for the Hindus' pride.

In Dehradun, Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar had to face the brunt. Youths belonging to various rightist organisations, including the RSS, showed black flags to the union minister and shouted slogans against him apparently holding him responsible for the seer's arrest. The police had a tough time to shoo away the agitated protesters.

Aiyar had come to Dehradun to visit ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Commission) headquarters. Notably, Aiyar belongs to Tamil Nadu where one of Shankaracharya's mutts is located. And, incidentally, the Tamil Nadu police only had arrested the seer from Andhra Pradesh last week.

Meanwhile, in Bangalore the Dalits hailed the Tamil Nadu government and its police's action in arresting him. They urged the jayalalitha government not to extend any special concession to the seer. At a meeting held here, the Dalit activists and intellectuals decided to urge the concerned state government not to show any concession and abide by the law of the land. VT Rajashekar, editor of 'Dalit Voice', later exclusively told this to ANI.

Source: Newkerala.com, November 15, 2004

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