| Jayendra Saraswati
Chennai, Nov. 15: Cries of 'Jaya Jaya Sankara' rose in the air and chief minister Jayalalithaa was slammed for her 'biggest anti-Hindu stance' as Sangh parivar outfits boomed in their first strong protest in Tamil Nadu against Jayendra Saraswati's arrest.
Condemning the case 'foisted' on the Kanchi seer, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia today dubbed his arrest the 'blackest day in the history of Hindus'.
As if to make up for the last three days since the acharya's arrest in connection with a murder of a temple manager in Kancheepuram, Togadia warned that protests would be intensified across the country unless the seer is released on bail at the earliest.
BJP MLA H. Raja and state-level leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Hindu Munnani were among those present at the meeting. 'Our voice should be loud and clear so that it reaches Poes Garden (Jayalalithaa's residence),' said a leader as cries of Jaya Jaya Sankara, Hara Hara Sankara reached a crescendo.
In Kancheepuram, police questioned seven mutt officials, including the manager and the cashier.
Togadia questioned whether the Centre would dare order the police to enter the Jama Masjid in Delhi and arrest the Shahi Imam, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, against whom he claimed several cases were pending.
As the Kanchi seer was arrested in Congress-ruled Andhra Pradesh, the VHP leader saw a tacit understanding between the state and the Congress-led coalition at the Centre, of which the DMK, Tamil Nadu's main Opposition party, is a key constituent.
Lashing out at Jayalalithaa, Togadia said her decision to arrest the acharya was aimed at snatching the 'DMK vote-bank' in Tamil Nadu, including those of the minorities, as the Assembly elections were drawing near. 'But you will lose both (including the votes of the Hindus),' he declared.
Togadia said Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Jayalalithaa and DMK leader M. Karunanidhi have committed 'Shiva droha' in arresting the Kanchi seer, one of the five supreme Hindu religious leaders. As a 'Shiva bhakt, I pray to Lord Shiva to start his rudra tandav now to punish this Shiva droha', he said.
In a new twist to the case, Raja alleged that the kingpin of the gang that killed the temple official was a henchman of a former DMK minister, Arcot Veerasamy.
The BJP leader added that the slain temple official had in a petition to the state government said 'temple lands were being gobbled up by a DMK functionary'. The murder, thus, could have been the handiwork of the DMK and the blame was then put on the acharya, he alleged. Senior BJP leader M.M. Joshi has been allowed by the state government to meet the pontiff tomorrow.