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Seer gives voice to Kanchi plan

Chennai, March 20: Kanchi sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati last night broke the silence he had imposed on himself since his release on bail from the Vellore prison in January.

The pontiff told devotees at a temple at Kalavai in Vellore district, some 35 km from Kancheepuram, that he would stay at the ashram there.

Asked how long the acharya would stay at Kalavai, a mutt source said Jayendra Saraswati proposed to return to Kancheepuram only after the Shankar Raman murder case is solved, proving his innocence and vindicating his position.

The seer was arrested in November in the murder case of the Varadaraja Perumal temple manager Shankar Raman. He was named the first accused in the case.

'This place (Kalavai) has a long historical and spiritual association with the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt and I will continue to stay here and do what little that is possible to renovate old temples and build new ones,' the seer told his followers at the Kareesha Nathar temple.

Jayendra Saraswati underscored the significance of Kalavai, where his guru, the late senior pontiff Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, had taken sanyas, saying it made the place all the more sacred for him.

Last evening, the acharya went around all the small temples in Kalavai after reporting at the office of the special investigation team (SIT) in Kancheepuram, a bail condition he has to fulfil in another mutt-related case.

His devotees have shifted the idol of Sri Chandramouleeshwara, the presiding deity of the Kanchi mutt to Kalavai to enable him to perform his daily pujas.

The Kanchi mutt's junior pontiff, Vijayendra Saraswati, who is the second accused in the Shankar Raman case, is staying at the Kamakshi Amman Temple in Adyar, as Madras High Court had specified in his bail order that he should remain within city limits.

For the benefit of devotees, buses run on select days between Chennai and Kalavai.

In another development two days ago, Justice K.P. Sivasubramaniam of Madras High Court, while hearing a writ petition from a Chennai-based cardiologist seeking to quash a summons served on him to appear before the SIT in Kancheepuram, slammed the investigating agency probing the murder case.

The judge told the SIT counsel that the agency should stick to the case before it and not branch off in various directions.

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