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Assault attempt on Kerala preacher

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JOHN MARY Thiruvananthapuram Published 21.08.05, 12:00 AM
Mata Amritanandamayi

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug. 21: A man armed with a knife today attempted to attack religious preacher Mata Amritanandamayi at her ashram at Vallikavu in Kollam district.

Amma, as Mata Amritanandamayi is popularly known, was singing hymns on a dais around 6.30 this evening when Pavithran tried to sneak in through a side entrance approaching the stage.

Sentries noticed him advancing menacingly and stopped him just 20 feet from the dais.

Superintendent of police Santhosh Varma said the 47-year-old hails from the northern Palakkad district and claimed to be a sympathiser of the RSS. It appears he is mentally unstable.

Three persons were injured while trying to stop Pavithran, who was draped in a shawl and took a knife and attacked them. Arun, a devotee, sustained stab wounds while two volunteers ? Dinesh and Ramesh ? escaped with minor bruises.

Pavithran was also bruised and taken to a hospital immediately. He was later interrogated at Karunagapally police station, under whose area the ashram falls.

Verma said it was a busy day at the ashram and hundreds of devotees had thronged the premises for a glimpse of Amma and to listen to her hymns. She was unperturbed by the incident and once the commotion was over, Amma continued with her bhajans.

Pavithran also told the police that Mata Amritanandamayi’s devotees had restrained him earlier when he had gone to the ashram. He was engaged in rubber tapping for the last one year.

The police said Pavithran admitted to an earlier brush with the law enforcers when he appeared as a witness to an incident in 1985 when his father was attacked.

Kollam district collector B. Srinivas said he had asked the police to mount a vigil.

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