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Hindu Aikya Vedi plans hartal tomorrow

By Our Staff Reporter

KOCHI, NOV. 13. The Hindu Aikya Vedi has called for a 12-hour hartal on Monday, in protest against the arrest of the Kanchi Sankaracharya, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi.

The decision was taken at a meeting of Hindu organisations here today. Kummanam Rajasekharan, general secretary of the Vedi, said in a statement that functioning of hospitals and newspapers, milk supply, Sabarimala pilgrimage and marriages would not be affected. Rallies and public meetings would be held at the district and taluk headquarters in connection with the hartal, he said.

Harsh stand

Mr. Rajasekharan alleged that the Tamil Nadu Government was taking a harsh stand by keeping the Swami in jail and ill-treating him. It was to protest against this that the hartal had been called, he said.

Meanwhile, the Vyakti Vikas Kendra has urged people to maintain calm in the wake of the Swami's arrest. The founder of Art of Living, Ravishankar, said that Swami's arrest on Diwali had shaken the Hindu psyche. Saints could not even think of committing a crime as had been alleged against the Swami, he said.

The BJP has called upon the people to make the hartal a success. The BJP State president, P.S. Sreedharan Pillai, said in a statement in Thiruvananthapuram that the Swami's arrest amounted to ridiculing of the Hindu society and the lineage of `rishis'.

Unjustifiable: CPI(M)

The CPI(M) State secretary, Pinarayi Vijayan, described as unjustifiable and unwarranted the call for hartal to protest against the arrest of a Swami in Tamil Nadu. In a statement in Thiruvananthapuram today, he said the Acharya was arrested on the basis of evidence of his role in the murder of the manager of the Sri Varadarajaswamy Temple.

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