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Kamakshi Amman temple official submits records to police

By V. Venkatasubramanian

KANCHEEPURAM, JAN. 15. The Executive Officer of the Kamakshi Amman temple, R. Gnanasambandan, today submitted the temple records pertaining to gold contributions received from devotees, to the special investigation team probing the Sankararaman murder case.

The Kanchi Sankaracharya, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, who has been arrested in the case, is now out on conditional bail.

Enquiries show that the team had directed the Executive Officer to bring the records presumably to verify the details given by the temple administrator and the Kanchi Sankara Mutt representative, K.S. Chellappa, on December 2 last year, on the usage of gold in the temple for renovation and new projects, including the golden chariot project.

The slain Sankararaman, in one of his letters addressed to the Kanchi Acharya, had warned him of disclosing "mishandling" of the gold contributions.

Mr. Gnanasambandam, accompanied by the temple maniyam (supervisor), Mani, and accountant, Ramamurthi, brought the records to the investigation bungalow around noon.

After a few minutes, both Mr. Mani and Mr. Ramamurthi, left the place in a hurry only to return within 15 minutes carrying a bag containing some papers. All the three left the investigation bungalow around 1.30 p.m. after submitting the records sought by the team.

The newly-appointed Kanchi Mutt manager, `Pollachi' Mahadeva Iyer, appeared before the investigation team at 11.40 a.m. on summons.

Sainath, a junior advocate of Mr. A. Shanmugam, Mutt counsel, accompanied him.

Mr. Mahadeva Iyer, who came out around 1 p.m., told the reporters that the police had asked him to meet the senior police officials since he had not met them after taking over as manager a fortnight ago.

Asked whether he was interrogated in connection with the murder case or about the functioning of the Mutt, Mr. Mahadeva Iyer said that he would not say anything.

To a question on the impact of the freezing of the Mutt's bank accounts, Mr. Mahadeva Iyer asked the reporters to "wait and see" for themselves.

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