Hindu News

Hindu News

Hindu News

Hindu News

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi cleared of murder

Pondicherry: An Indian court on Wednesday acquitted a hugely popular Hindu seer of murdering a temple manager nine years ago in a case that stirred outrage among his millions of devotees.

Sessions Judge C.S. Murugan told the packed court in the southern city of Pondicherry that witnesses failed to support the case against the 78-year-old known as the "Hindu pontiff", the Press Trust of India reported.

The 2004 arrest of Jayendra Saraswathi, considered one of India's most revered Hindu leaders, at a monastery and seminary in the southern state of Tamil Nadu created huge anger among his followers who staged protests and fasts.

Saraswathi and his junior seer, Vijayendra Saraswathi, 44, had been accused of employing a hitmen to kill manager A. Sankararaman, who had earlier made claims of financial mismanagement against them.

Both seers were cleared of murder, while the court also acquitted 21 others charged in connection with the killing.

The 52-year-old manager, who had also previously worked as an accountant for the seer, was found dead from multiple stab wounds after being attacked in the temple that he managed.

Jayendra Saraswathi is head of the 2,500-year-old hugely wealthy Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt — Mutt means spiritual institution — the leading seat of Hinduism.

His followers consider him a divine incarnation.

The prosecution had accused him of carrying out a "heinous, calculated, well-designed and gruesome murder through rowdy elements on payment of money".

But defence lawyers said Jayendra Saraswathi, known as "the seer of Kanchi", had been framed.

During the trial nearly half of the 189 witnesses turned hostile, refusing to testify for the prosecution, while one of the accused was killed earlier this year. 

Courtesy: timesofoman dot com


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