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Tuesday, Jan 11, 2005

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BJP, RSS hail bail for Kanchi Acharya

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, JAN. 10. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh have welcomed the grant of bail by the Supreme Court to the Kanchi Sankaracharya, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi. However, they described the arrest of the junior Sankaracharya, Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi, as "unfortunate".

The former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, said he shared the "immense relief and satisfaction" felt by the people and "this had alleviated the pain in the hearts of millions of Hindus." The Leader of the Opposition, L.K. Advani, asked the BJP's deputy leader in the Rajya Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, to go to Vellore to receive the Acharya when he is released from jail tomorrow.

Concerned over the arrest of the junior Acharya, the BJP delegation led by Mr. Vajpayee, Mr. Advani, the senior BJP leader, Jaswant Singh, and the former President, R. Venkataraman, called on the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, this evening.

The BJP said that its stand in the case had been vindicated. There had been no need to treat the respected Acharya like a common criminal. "Clearly, the Supreme Court found the evidence against him rather weak," the party general secretary, Muktar Abbas Naqvi, said.

RSS letter to Acharyas

The RSS and its sister organisations also welcomed the grant of bail to the Sankaracharya. In an open letter addressed to the Kanchi Acharyas, the RSS chief, K.S. Sudershan, said they stood "like a rock" against "all the fury and vicious persecution". And he was certain that the "entire Hindu society" would stand by them through the "trials and tribulations they would be facing in the future."

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, Giriraj Kishore, said that justice had been done although it was delayed. Special prayers would be said by the VHP. Reports suggested that another VHP leader, Ashok Singhal, might leave for Chennai to receive the Sankaracharya.

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