Another Case Against Kanchi Seer To Fuel Row Further Email this page
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Chennai, Nov. 24 (NNN): The booking of Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati in another case on Tuesday relating to an attack on a former official of the Kanchi Mutt, G Radhakrishnan, and two others, will only fuel the on-going row over his arrest further.
Additional Deputy Superintendent of Police S P Sakthivel served the arrest memo on the Shankaracharya at the Vellore Central Prison, where he is already in judicial custody after his arrest on November 11 in connection with the Sankararaman murder case.

The Shankaracharya has been charged with attempt to murder along with two other accused, the police said.

The two had attacked Radhakrishnan, his wife and an attendant with sharp-edged weapons at his residence in Mylapore area of Chennai on September 20, 2002.

The two -- who are already in custody in connection with the Sankararaman case -- fled the scene when the victims raised an alarm and the neighbours came to their rescue.

The case, which was earlier handled by the Chennai police, was transferred to the special team investigating the murder of Sankararaman in a temple premises in Kanchipuram.

The Shankaracharya is 15 days' judicial custody till November 26 in the murder case.

Radhakrishnan was attacked by a group of people in September 2002 but escaped with minor injuries. Radhakrishnan - was taken at the time of the incident, although a complaint had been registered.

The dead former employee, Sankararaman, was a strong critic of the religious leader.

Saraswathi has already denied the first charge - killing a worker at the temple he heads in Tamilnadu.

Police allege the devotee was attacked on the orders of the seer. They have already questioned Saraswathi for three days over the killing of the temple worker, but the seer has been returned to judicial custody, where the police have limited access to him.

According to the police they needed more time to question the cleric because they had been unable to examine the finances of the Kanchi Shankara Mutt, the influential religious establishment headed by Saraswathi.

However, a court in the town of Kanchipuram rejected their petition.

Supporters of the seer have launched hunger strikes and taken part in violent protests across the country. One man also reportedly committed suicide by drinking poison in Tamilnadu.

President of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Lalkishenchand Advani, said it was "deeply concerned with the manner in which he has been arrested".

Saraswathi is accused of killing a former accountant at his temple in Kanchipuram on September 3.

Saraswathi heads one of five seats of Hinduism and his arrest has sparked great anger among followers.

He will now not be freed from jail unless he wins bail on both counts.

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